REUTERS – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff bowed out defiantly on Thursday, suspended from office after the Senate voted to put her on trial for breaking budget laws in a historic decision brought on by a deep recession and a corruption scandal.
Rousseff, in office since 2011, will be replaced by Vice President Michel Temer, for the duration of a Senate trial that could take up to six months.
Rousseff, speaking shortly before she left Brasilia’s Planalto presidential palace, said was notified of her suspension on Thursday morning.
“I may have made mistakes but I did not commit any crime,” Rousseff said in an angry address, calling the impeachment “fraudulent” and “a coup.” The leftist leader, 68, was flanked by dozens of ministers who were leaving with her administration.
“I never imagined that it would be necessary to fight once again against a coup in this country,” Rousseff said, in a reference to her youth fighting Brazil’s military dictatorship.