Brazil's senate expected to confirm impeachment of embattled president

Dilma Rousseff has described the effort to force her from office as a coup

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Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff arrives for a meeting on state land issues at Planalto presidential palace in Brasilia | Image: Eraldo Peres / AP/Press Association Images

Brazil's president Dilma Rousseff faces being forced from office today as a growing corruption scandal continues to batter the country.

The nation's first female president is accused of lying to voters about the level of national debt during her re-election campaign.

The senate is expected to confirm her impeachment in a vote today and she will be suspended from office while her trial takes place.

On Tuesday the president described it as a "decisive moment" for the country.

Brazil is in uproar over a multi-billion dollar scandal which has engulfed its richest and most powerful.

Dozens have been charged or imprisoned over allegations of bribes related to the state oil firm Petrobras.

While Ms Rousseff is not accused of corruption, she is facing the same wave of public anger as many in the country's elite - 60% of Brazilians support her impeachment.

She has described the effort to force her from office as a coup.

But senator Zeze Perrella, who will vote in favour of impeachment, said: "Even if she's not directly involved, how can she say she knew nothing?

"We are living in a grotesque scenario where corruption scandals are spreading every minute."

Supporters of the president have been blocking streets across the country in protest.

The boom in Brazil's economy had already begun to falter before the scandal, dragged down by falling commodity prices around the world.

But the crisis has paralysed the country's political machine with a recession, falling currency value and huge uncertainty.

Rousseff's Workers Party, and her predecessor Lula da Silva, have always been popular with the country's poor.
Their policies have lifted many from poverty and expanded social housing.

In one Brasilia neighbourhood said to have benefited, residents are repaying her with their faith now.

At a late night bakery, Francisco De Assis credited the president for him being able to rebuild his life.

"I am against impeachment," he told Sky News. "This is all about discontent with the government."