Brazil's political crisis: Senate votes in favour of impeachment trial for President Dilma Rousseff

The attempt to impeach Ms Rousseff has seen protests ahead of the Games Credit: Reuters

Brazil's Senate has voted to put the country's president, Dilma Rousseff, on trial on charges of breaking budget laws, the latest move in an impeachment process that has stymied Brazilian politics since the beginning of the year.

Even as Brazil hosts the Olympics, senators in the capital Brasilia voted 59-21 against Ms Rousseff in a raucous, 20-hour debate.

The slow-moving attempt to impeach Ms Rousseff is behind much of the protest seen in the streets ahead of the Games.

A conviction for Ms Rousseff would definitively remove her from office Credit: Reuters

It was Brazil's interim leader, Michel Temer, rather than Ms Rousseff, who opened the Games in Rio, with some in the crowd voicing their disapproval.

A conviction for Ms Rousseff would definitively remove her from office and end the 13 years in power of her Workers Party, which has overseen a rise in the living standards of some of the poorest Brazilians.

The decision followed a 20-hour debate in the Senate Credit: Reuters

Mr Temer, who has urged senators to wrap up proceedings quickly so that he can move ahead with planned economic reforms, would then serve out the rest of her term into 2018.

Ms Rousseff has denied any wrongdoing and denounced her impeachment as a right-wing conspiracy that has used an accounting technicality to illegally remove a government that improved the lot of Brazil's poorer classes.

"The cards are marked in this game. There is no trial, just a sentence that has already been written," Workers Party Senator Jorge Viana said in a speech to the chamber.

The vote on Wednesday showed the movement to oust Ms Rousseff has gained strength - earlier in May it voted by only 55-22 to take up the impeachment proceedings initiated in the lower house in December.