04:46 GMT +307 December 2019
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    Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff looks on during signing of federal land transfer agreement for the government of the state of Amapa at Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil, April 15, 2016

    'I Never Received Bribes': Rousseff Dismisses Impeachment Vote as 'Coup'

    © AP Photo / Ueslei Marcelino
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    Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff said Thursday that there are no grounds to impeach her and that a fraudulent impeachment amounts to a coup.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The upper house of the Brazilian parliament voted 55-22 earlier on Thursday to start impeachment proceedings against Rousseff after she was accused of concealing the country’s budget deficit ahead of the 2014 re-election.

    The 68-year-old Rousseff has been suspended from office for 180 days, pending her trial. Vice-President Michel Temer is expected to assume the presidency during that period and name his cabinet shortly.

    "I never received bribes, I have not engaged in money laundering. There are no grounds for impeachment," Rousseff said in a televised statement.

    "I wish to clarify this again after the Senate's decision and point to the risks of fraudulent impeachment, which is a coup," she said.

    Brazil’s president has been facing a wave of public discontent for over a year amid the country’s struggling economy and a major corruption scandal in the state-owned Petrobras petroleum company.

    Related:

    Brazilian President Rousseff Dismisses Cabinet After Impeachment
    Brazilian Crisis: Rousseff Decries Senate’s Impeachment Vote As ‘Coup’
    Brazilian Senate Temporarily Suspends President Rousseff From Office
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