The Americas

The Latest: Impeachment debate drags on in Brazil's Senate

  • Employees assemble barricades around the ramp of the Planalto Presidential Palace in preparation for the possible exit ceremony of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, at the Planalto Presidential Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Brazil's Senate is nearing a historic vote on impeaching Rousseff, likely ending 13 years of government by her party amid a spate of crises besetting Latin America's largest nation. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

    Employees assemble barricades around the ramp of the Planalto Presidential Palace in preparation for the possible exit ceremony of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff, at the Planalto Presidential Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Brazil's Senate is nearing a historic vote on impeaching Rousseff, likely ending 13 years of government by her party amid a spate of crises besetting Latin America's largest nation. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pro-government demonstrators gather near a banner that shows the face of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff and reads in Portuguese "There won't be a coup" during a protest against her impeachment in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Brazil's Senate is nearing a historic vote on impeaching Rousseff, likely ending 13 years of government by her party amid a spate of crises besetting Latin America's largest nation. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)

    Pro-government demonstrators gather near a banner that shows the face of Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff and reads in Portuguese "There won't be a coup" during a protest against her impeachment in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wednesday, May 11, 2016. Brazil's Senate is nearing a historic vote on impeaching Rousseff, likely ending 13 years of government by her party amid a spate of crises besetting Latin America's largest nation. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)  (The Associated Press)

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

2 a.m.

Brazilian senators have a long way to go to finish their debate on whether to impeach President Dilma Rousseff.

More than 16 hours into a debate that began Wednesday morning, the 50th senator gave his speech at 1:30 a.m., leaving 21 colleagues still scheduled to talk.

The chamber is still crowded, although there are more aides than senators themselves. Older senators have gone off for naps and are having their aides call when their time to speak is about to come.

The Senate president, Renan Claheiros, had hoped the body could vote on impeachment by late Wednesday. He is now predicting that the vote can be held around 6 a.m. (5 a.m. EDT, 1000 GMT).

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.

The impeachment hinges on allegations Rousseff violated fiscal rules in handling the federal budget. But it's also become a referendum on her presidency amid a deep recession and a corruption scandal involving the state oil company Petrobras. Rousseff denies any wrongdoing.