RELIGION

The Latest: Brazil Senate debates impeachment of president

  • Demonstrator shouts pro-government slogans as they hold candles during a protest against the impeachment proceeding of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Rousseff supporters displayed their frustration Tuesday, with rallies held in cities in more than a dozen states. Protesters occupied roads and highways, blocked university entrances and burned tires. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

    Demonstrator shouts pro-government slogans as they hold candles during a protest against the impeachment proceeding of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, May 10, 2016. Rousseff supporters displayed their frustration Tuesday, with rallies held in cities in more than a dozen states. Protesters occupied roads and highways, blocked university entrances and burned tires. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)  (The Associated Press)

  • Guards stand outside the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is facing possible impeachment by Congress, with the Senate expected to vote today on a measure to suspend her. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    Guards stand outside the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is facing possible impeachment by Congress, with the Senate expected to vote today on a measure to suspend her. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

  • Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff walks outside Alvorada Palace, the presidential residence, in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Rousseff is facing possible impeachment by Congress, with the Senate expected to vote today on a measure to suspend her. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)

    Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff walks outside Alvorada Palace, the presidential residence, in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Rousseff is facing possible impeachment by Congress, with the Senate expected to vote today on a measure to suspend her. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)  (The Associated Press)

The Latest on the debate and vote in Brazil's Senate on the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff (all times local):

9:50 a.m.

Brazil's Senate has kicked off a session that's expected to culminate in in a vote on whether to impeach President Dilma Rousseff.

If a simple majority of the 81 senators vote in favor, Rousseff will be suspended from office and Vice President Michel Temer will take over for up to six months pending a decision on whether to remove her from office permanently.

Senate President Renan Calheiros has said he wants the vote to happen Wednesday night.

The impeachment hinges on allegations Rousseff violated fiscal rules in handling the federal budget. But it's also become largely a referendum on her presidency amid a deep recession and a vast kickback scheme in state oil company Petrobras.

Rousseff denies any wrongdoing and insists the impeachment amounts to a "coup" aimed at removing her left-leaning Workers' Party, in power for 13 years.