Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff moved closer to impeachment when a key member of a Congressional committee said on Wednesday there were grounds for the Senate to put her on trial for manipulating budget accounts in 2014 to boost her reelection prospects.
Congressman Jovair Arantes told the 65-member lower house committee there were “minimal indications” that Rousseff had committed an impeachable crime, but that it was up to the Senate to judge the president.
Arantes had been asked by the committee to review the case and report back. The committee will vote on his report on Monday and submit the result to the full house for a final vote, expected by the end of next week. If two-thirds of the chamber approve the motion, Rousseff will be sent for trial in the Senate. She denies any wrongdoing.
The impeachment effort, a wideranging corruption scandal, and a deepening economic recession have led to Brazil’s worst political crisis since former President Fernando Collor de Mello resigned to avoid impeachment in 1992.
Rousseff, Brazil’s first woman president, could lose power as soon as May if she does not gain more support in Congress.