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Brazil speaker launches impeachment procedure against president

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in Brasilia on November 22, 2015Brasília (AFP) – Brazil’s lower house speaker triggered impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff on Wednesday, setting the stage for a political battle that could see the country’s first female leader forced from office. “It’s to authorize the start (of impeachment), not to judge on its merits,” Speaker Eduardo Cunha told journalists after officially accepting an impeachment petition, which now goes to a committee that will decide whether or not to authorize a trial. The petition, filed by opposition figures and a founder of Rousseff’s leftist Workers’ Party, accuses her of illegally fiddling government accounts to mask budget holes.

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