Judgment day arrives for Brazil's Rousseff

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's political future hangs on a vote that is scheduled to take place on Monday in the lower house of Congress.

The session, set to be televised live, may not be the end of Rousseff's impeachment process, which will move to the Senate should two-thirds of the 513 lower house deputies give it the green light.

Many analysts say it will be difficult for the Government to block the motion in the Senate if it passes through the lower house.

Rousseff has been losing allies over the past few days, despite former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's efforts to secure votes in exchange for government jobs.

Here's how voting in the lower house is expected to unfold over the next few days:

FridaySession starts at 11:55pm (all times NZT) and is expected to continue well into Saturday.

Authors of impeachment request and Rousseff's defence will have 25 minutes each to deliver their arguments.

Each of the 25 parties in the lower house will have one hour to deliver their speeches, with as many as five party members allowed to speak.

SundaySession starts at 2am, with no set time to wrap up.

Lawmakers who are registered to speak will have three minutes each to deliver their remarks.

All of the 513 lower house deputies are allowed to sign up to talk; speakers will alternate between critics and proponents of the impeachment during the session.

MondaySession starts at 5am and is expected to finish at 1am Tuesday, according to lower house speaker Eduardo Cunha.

Each of the 513 lower house deputies will have 10 seconds to declare their vote in a session that will be broadcast live.

Lawmakers from Brazil's northern and southern regions will alternate when casting their votes, lower house speaker Cunha said yesterday, reversing an earlier decision to start with southern states, where most congressmen are in favour of impeachment.

Post vote: What comes nextIf the lower house votes "yes" on impeachment, the process moves to the Senate where a special committee will prepare a report recommending whether senators should accept it, and start official impeachment hearings, or reject it.

If the lower house votes "no", the process dies there. Other impeachment requests, however, have been filed and could still be accepted by the lower house chief, starting the process all over again.

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