Speaker Eduardo Cunha's decision taken yesterday, which now must be approved by a special committee to go any further, could see the country's first female leader forced from office
just when Brazil is struggling with a corruption scandal and deepening recession.
Rousseff, a leftist guerrilla during Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship and less than a year into her second term as president, said she was confident of surviving.
"I am convinced and completely sure of the total lack of foundation regarding this petition," she said on television in her first reaction. "There is not one illegal act by me," she said.
The impeachment procedure kicked off with Cunha's acceptance of a petition filed by several lawyers, including a disillusioned founder of Rousseff's Workers' Party. It accuses her of illegally fiddling government accounts to mask budget holes.


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