Brazil's Rousseff impeached; centrist Michel Temer takes power as interim president

Interim president Temer says his government focuses on "national salvation" and asks Brazilians to rally behind him.

Brazil's Senate voted to impeach and suspend President Dilma Rousseff after a 20-hour debate on Thursday, putting an end to the 13-year rule of the Workers Party.

The Senate voted 55-22 to put Rousseff, an economist and former Marxist guerrilla, on trial for allegedly misrepresenting the country's financial condition for her advantage ahead of 2014 re-election.

Centrist leader Michel Temer was appointed Brazil's interim President. The trial of Roussef is expected to take at least six months and the chances of her acquittal in the Senate probe are thin.

The opposition, which needs a two-thirds majority to remove Rousseff definitively from power, has all but secured enough firepower to achieve its goal.

Meanwhile, interim president Temer said his government focused on "national salvation" and asked Brazilians to rally behind him.

"It is urgent we calm the nation and unite Brazil ... Political parties, leaders, organizations and the Brazilian people will cooperate to pull the country from this grave crisis," said Temer, the leader of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party.

The impeachment proceedings against Roussef, who came to power in 2011, were launched in the Congress in December. The opposition accused her of breaking the budget laws to make the economy look healthier than it was.

Immediately after the Senate vote that removed her from power Rousseff disbanded the cabinet. She said the Senate vote reflected a tragic hour for the country, and repeated her innocence.

"I may have made mistakes but I did not commit any crime," she said, according to Reuters. Roussef also drew analogies to her days as a leftist activist who fought against the generals in her formative years in politics, implying the current developments harked back to those days.

"I never imagined that it would be necessary to fight once again against a coup in this country," she said.