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Brazil Pursues Impeachment Against Rousseff

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Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff speaks during a press conference after impeachment proceedings were opened against her by the President of Chamber of Deputies Eduardo Cunha.
Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff speaks during a press conference after impeachment proceedings were opened against her by the President of Chamber of Deputies Eduardo Cunha.

A senior Brazilian lawmaker approved impeachment hearings Wednesday over allegations against President Dilma Rousseff.

During Rousseff's presidency, unemployment has increased, the economy has slowed, and she is accused in an oil scandal.

The impeachment process will examine Rousseff's connection to the Petrobras oil and energy company. The scandal centers on money payoffs to politicians and executives. Rousseff was chairwoman of the Petrobras board when a questionable oil refinery purchase was made in 2006.

She also will be questioned about the government's accounting and spending history, according to the Washington Post.

Rousseff has denied any wrong doing.

The Brazilian Chamber of Deputies will vote on articles of impeachment. If two-thirds of the chamber - or 342 members - vote for impeachment, Rousseff will be suspended. A final vote will be held by the country's senate.

Rousseff has faced opposition before. She served three years in prison from 1970 to 1973 and was tortured for subversion for fighting a military dictatorship. She helped found the Democratic Labor Party and was Brazil's Minister of Mines and Energy. She also was Chief of Staff for then-President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Rousseff has faced low public-opinion poll numbers. A September poll revealed only 10 percent of Brazilians think the government is doing a good job.

She first took office in 2011 and narrowly won reelection in 2014.

I'm Anne Ball.

Jim Dresbach wrote this story for Learning English. Kathleen Struck was the editor.

What do you think of Rousseff's possible impeachment? We want to hear from you. Write to us in the Comments Section or visit our Facebook page.

Words in This Story

hearing - n. a meeting or session at which evidence and arguments about a crime or complaint are presented to a person or group who will have to decide on what action should be taken

subversion - n. an act or acts to secretly try to ruin or destroy a government, political system

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