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The Latest: Brazil’s acting president names all-male Cabinet

May 12, 2016

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — The latest on the debate on impeachment of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff (all times local):

6:35 p.m.

All 21 members of Brazil’s new Cabinet named by acting President Michel Temer look just like him: white men.

Suspended President Dilma Rousseff began her second term last year with six women among her 39 Cabinet members. One of the women was the only black minister in the government.

Like Temer, some of the new Cabinet members are scandal-tainted dealmakers in Brasilia’s political scene. Three of his Cabinet members are implicated in the investigation into corruption t state-run oil giant Petrobras.

Sen. Romero Juca will be one of Temer’s main names in economy policy. Businessman Geddel Vieira Lima will work in political relations with Congress.


6:25 p.m.

Acting Brazilian President Michel Temer is promising to beef up the fight against corruption, and in particular says he will support the sweeping investigation into a mammoth kickback scheme at state oil company Petrobras.

Temer himself has been implicated by witnesses in the probe, though he has not been charged. Many Brazilians worry he will move to weaken an investigation that has ensnared dozens of the country’s elite, from top politicians to businessmen.

Many people blamed suspended President Dilma Rousseff for the multibillion-dollar scheme. While she has never implicated herself, much of the alleged graft happened during the 13 years that her Workers’ Party was in power, including the last six years while she was president.


6 p.m.

In his first words to Brazilians as acting president, Michel Temer says his priority will be reviving Latin America’s largest economy.

The vice president took on the duties of Brazil’s president Thursday after the Senate voted to suspend President Dilma Rousseff pending an impeachment trial. Temer says he is committed to “restoring confidence.”

The 75-year-old Temer says he wanted his first public appearance as acting president to be a somber and discrete ceremony to “be in line with the times we are living.”


1:35 p.m.

Vice President Michel Temer has signed the official notification that he’s interim president of Brazil following the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff.

Temer’s official Twitter account shows him signing the document brought to him by a delegation from the Senate, which voted early Thursday to suspend Rousseff.

Temer will serve during a Senate trial to determine if Rousseff should be permanently removed. That trial can take up to six months.


11:45 a.m.

Brazil’s suspended President Dilma Rousseff is comparing the pain of being impeached to the torture she suffered under the country’s past military dictatorship.

She says at a news conference that “it’s the most brutal of things that can happen to a human being — to be condemned for a crime you didn’t commit.”

In her words, “I may have committed errors but I never committed crimes.”


11:30 a.m.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff remains defiant in the face of impeachment, saying “Never will I stop fighting.”

She’s appeared publicly for the first time since the Senate voted to impeach and suspend her, calling the process “fraudulent” and “a coup.”

She says it’s been cooked up by opponents eager to snatch the power and roll back social programs.


9:20 a.m.

Just hours after the Senate vote that suspended Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, her entire Cabinet was dismissed.

The G1 internet portal of the Globo television network says notice of the dismissal of the 27 ministers has appeared in Thursday’s edition of the government gazette.

Those sacked include former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Rousseff’s predecessor and mentor, whom she named as her chief of staff in March.

The dismissals appear to open the way for Rousseff’s Vice President Michel Temer to swear in his own Cabinet as early as Thursday.

Temer has suggested he’ll slash the number of Cabinet posts to 22.


9 a.m.

The International Olympic Committee says it is looking forward to working with the new Brazilian government ahead of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro following the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff.

IOC President Thomas Bach says “there is strong support for the Olympic Games in Brazil and we look forward to working with the new government to deliver successful Games in Rio this summer.”

Bach says preparations for the Aug. 5-21 games “have now entered into a very operational phase and issues such as these have much less influence than at other stages of organizing the Olympic Games.”

He adds: “We have seen the great progress being made in Rio de Janeiro and we remain confident about the success of the Olympic Games in August.”


8:15 a.m.

Senate President Renan Calheiros says that President Dilma Rousseff will remain in the presidential residence despite being impeached and suspended by the Senate. Now that lawmakers have voted to impeach Rousseff, the chamber has up to 180 days to conduct a trial and then vote whether to remove her permanently.

Calheiros says that in the meantime Rousseff will have security guards, health care, and the right to air and ground travel, as well as staff for her personal office. He also says she’ll receive a salary, though he didn’t specify what it would be.


7:15 a.m.

Sen. Romero Juca says the 55-22 vote to impeach Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff suggests it would be very difficult for her to win her mandate back during the impeachment trial.

Juca is from the opposition Democratic Movement Party, the main motor behind the impeachment.

Vice President Michel Temer will now take over while the Senate conducts a trial within the next 180 days.

Juca says: “It was a painful process, a process that has changed Brazil — but it is necessary to change Brazil. People today are having difficulties. Thousands of people are losing their jobs every day, companies are closing. Life is getting worse. It’s not possible to continue the way things are.”

Sen. Humberto Costa, the Workers’ Party leader in the Senate, acknowledged the government’s defeat and pledged to be a “strong and hard” opposition to the new Temer government.


6:35 a.m.

Brazil’s Senate has voted 55-22 to impeach the South American giant’s first woman president.

President Dilma Rousseff is accused of using accounting tricks to hide large budget deficits.

Rousseff will be suspended and replaced for up to six months by Vice President Michel Temer pending a trial in the Senate. The trial will determine whether Rousseff can serve out her second term, or whether her ally-turned-enemy, Temer, will remain in the top job through the December 2018 end of the term.

The result represents a victory for the pro-impeachment camp. It was significantly higher than the simple majority of 41 votes needed to suspend her. It sends a signal that Rousseff faces an uphill battle to return to power.

Thursday’s vote capped a marathon session in the Senate that lasted more than 20 hours.

1:00 a.m.

A rancorous Senate debate on the fate of President Dilma Rousseff has dragged into a new day Thursday, with her critics arguing that she caused deep damage to Latin America’s largest nation while supporters are calling the effort to impeach her a coup d’etat.

The Senate’s march toward a historic vote on impeaching Rousseff began Wednesday morning. The debate droned on through the day and into the wee hours of Thursday, with the vote possibly coming sometime around dawn.

Senate President Renan Calheiros said at one point: “I’m asking for everybody’s patience because we need to see this through to the end.”

Update hourly