The congressional impeachment process against Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been cast in doubt after the speaker of the South American country's lower house annulled a vote cast in April. File photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo
BRASILIA, Brazil, May 9 (UPI) -- Brazil's house speaker on Monday annulled an impeachment vote creating doubt about whether proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff will continue.
Waldir Maranhao, the acting speaker in Brazil's Chamber of Deputies, annulled the April 17 vote that sent the impeachment process up to the Senate. The upper chamber is scheduled to vote on Wednesday on whether an impeachment trial should continue.
Maranhao said he annulled the vote because Chamber of Deputies members should not have announced their position prior to the vote, also adding that party leaders should not have instructed members on how to vote.
The lower house leader has called for a new vote to be cast. It is unclear if the Senate will continue with Wednesday's vote.
Maranhao last week was appointed as acting speaker after Eduardo Cuhna, the Brazilian political leader who began the impeachment process against Rousseff, was suspended by the Supreme Court.
Cunha faces corruption allegations related to the $3.9 billion Petrobras scandal. Maranhao is also under investigation in the corruption scandal.
The Petrobras scandal, which has shaken both the government and the oil company, and contributed to Brazil's recession, has led to dozens of arrests of former and current Petrobras executives, as well as investigators of numerous government officials.
A simple majority vote in the Senate that would have initiated an impeachment trial would have suspended Rousseff for 180 days. Vice President Michel Temer would have served as interim president.