62% of Brazil lawmakers think president will be impeached: poll

[RIO DE JANEIRO] Nearly two-thirds of lawmakers in Brazil's lower house of Congress think President Dilma Rousseff will be impeached, a poll found Sunday as the embattled leftist fought for her political survival.

A congressional impeachment committee began proceedings Friday, examining accusations that Ms Rousseff manipulated the government's accounts in 2014 to boost public spending during her re-election campaign, and again in 2015 to mask a deep recession.

The president's popularity has also taken a beating amid a corruption scandal centered on state oil company Petrobras that has badly damaged her Workers' Party.

That case is separate from the impeachment bid.

The poll found 62 per cent of lawmakers in the Chamber of Deputies now think the president will be impeached.

"In just three weeks, the percentage has nearly tripled," said Murillo Aragao, head of pollster Arko Advice, which carried out the survey for newspaper O Dia.

The impeachment committee is tasked with making a recommendation to the full Congress. A vote by two-thirds of the 513 lawmakers there and half the 81 senators would trigger an impeachment trial in the Senate.

Arko Advice found the 65 committee members are almost evenly split: 32 support impeachment, 31 are against and two are undecided.

In the event of an impeachment trial, Ms Rousseff would be suspended from her duties for up to 180 days. A two-thirds vote would remove her from office.

The poll was carried out March 15 to 17 with a sample of 100 lawmakers from 23 parties.

A separate poll published Saturday found that 68 per cent of Brazilians support impeaching Rousseff, up eight percentage points from February.


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