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SPOTLIGHT: D-DAY FOR DILMA'S IMPEACHMENT

After weeks, months even, of political chaos, the Brazilian Senate will vote to impeach President Dilma Rousseff later today. That is the scenario Brazil's top media outlets are predicting, barring any last-minute twists. Of course in the mess that has become the impeachment process and criss-crossing corruption probes that have affected virtually the entire political class, twists can never be ruled out. In a desperate attempt to survive what she repeatedly described as a "coup d'Etat," Rousseff and Brazil's Attorney General has asked the Supreme Court to halt the impeachment process.


The latest reports from Folha de S. Paulo and other media outlets suggest that at least 50 out of 81 Senators will vote to impeach Dilma, nine more than the required majority, with 10 still undecided. In all likelihood, the Brazilian president will be suspended for a maximum period of 180 days, during which she will be tried for allegedly manipulating budget figures to boost her chances of being reelected in October 2014. At the end of the trial, a new vote will be held and Rousseff will be irrevocably impeached if more than two-thirds of Senators decide so.


In the meantime, her vice-president and rival Michel Temer will take over. Temer, whose name translates as "to dread," has already prepared a drastically slimmed down and pro-business government in a bid to halt a devastating economic crisis that has sent unemployment and inflation soaring, even as Rio de Janeiro prepares to host this summer's Olympic Games.

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Geopolitics

AMLO Power Grab: Mexico's Electoral Reform Would Make Machiavelli Proud

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, aka AMLO, says his plans to reform the electoral system are a way to save taxpayer money. A closer look tells a different story.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador of Mexico votes

Luis Rubio

OpEd-

MEXICO CITY — For supporters of Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) the goal is clear: to keep power beyond the 2024 general election, at any price. Finally, the engineers of the much-touted Fourth Transformation, ALMO's 2018 campaign promise to do away with the privileged abuses that have plagued Mexican politics for decades, are showing their colors.

Current electoral laws date back to the 1990s, when unending electoral disputes were a constant of every voting round and impeded effective governance in numerous states and districts. The National Electoral Institute (INE) and its predecessor, the IFE, were created to solve once and for all those endemic disputes.

Their promoters hoped Mexico could expect a more honest future, with the electoral question resolved. The 2006 presidential elections, which included AMLO as a recalcitrant loser, showed this was hoping for too much. That election is also, remotely, at the source of the president's new electoral initiative.

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