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Brazil Senate impeaches President Dilma Rousseff

BRASILIA, Brazil -- Brazil's Senate voted Thursday to impeach President Dilma Rousseff after a monthlong fight that laid raw the country's fury over corruption and economic decay, hurling Latin America's largest country into political turmoil just months before it hosts the Summer Olympics.

Rousseff's backers called the move a coup d'etat and threatened wide-scale protests and strikes. Her foes, meanwhile, insisted that she had broken the law and that the country's deep political, social and economic woes could be tackled only with her on the sideline.

The 55-22 vote means that Vice President Michel Temer, Rousseff's ally-turned-enemy, will take over as acting president later Thursday while she is suspended. The Senate has 180 days to conduct a trial and decide whether Rousseff should be permanently removed from office.

"Did anyone think that we would get to 2018 with a recovery under this government? Impossible," said Jose Serra, the opposition Social Democratic Party's failed presidential candidate in the 2010 race that brought Rousseff into power. "The impeachment is just the start of the reconstruction."

Rio de Janeiro will host the Olympics in August. The run-up to the Games has been marred by security questions, the Zika virus, polluted water in venues for sailing and rowing, slow ticket sales and the political and economic turmoil that led to Rousseff's impeachment.

The International Olympic Committee said it is looking forward to working with the new Brazilian government ahead of the Olympics.

"There is strong support for the Olympic Games in Brazil, and we look forward to working with the new government to deliver successful Games in Rio this summer," IOC president Thomas Bach said.

Bach said preparations for the Aug. 5-21 Games "have now entered into a very operational phase, and issues such as these have much less influence than at other stages of organizing the Olympic Games."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.