The Americas

Brazil's Congress begins presidential impeachment debate

The lower chamber of Brazil's Congress has begun debate on whether to impeach President Dilma Rousseff, with the crucial vote slated for Sunday.

The atmosphere in the lower Chamber of Deputies was electric at the start of Friday's session.

Lawmakers backing impeachment allege Rousseff's administration violated fiscal rules. They say the government used sleight of hand accounting in a bid to shore up public support. However, many of those pushing for impeachment face grave accusations of corruption themselves.

Rousseff's defenders insist she did nothing illegal, and sat similar accounting techniques were used by previous presidents.

If 342 of the lower house's 513 legislators vote in favor of impeachment, the process moves to the Senate.