The Senate of South America's largest economy will determine whether Brazil's president is Dilma Rousseff or Michel Temer. She has been suspended from the presidency since May during impeachment proceedings, with Temer holding the reins as acting president.
The final phase of the Senate trial in Brasilia, presided over by Brazil's Chief Justice Ricardo Lewandowski, begins Aug 25. The senators are due to take a final vote on whether to impeach Rousseff on Aug 30 if time allows, or the following day.
A leftist, Rousseff is accused of doctoring government accounts to mask a widening budget gap ahead of her re-election in 2014. She asserts that she is the victim of a right-wing conspiracy to overthrow her government. She describes the impeachment as a farce and her alleged crimes as no more than "routine acts of budgetary management."
The Wall Street Journal notes that the case against Rousseff has broadened the divisions in Brazil's politics, as her fall from grace coincides with a deep recession, a sprawling corruption scandal and a dysfunctional political system.
Rousseff's impeachment would end 13 years of Workers' Party rule. It would also end the tenuous interim presidency of her conservative former vice president, Temer. Her ouster would allow him to serve out the remainder of her term, through 2018.
Date written/update: 2016-08-10