BRASILIA: The political context to the Rio 2016 Olympics grew even more complex after Brazil’s lower house voted to start impeachment proceedings against President Dilma Rousseff.

A lengthy congress debate in Brasilia resulted in a 367-167 majority in favour of impeachment, significantly clear of the essential two-thirds majority (342).

Seven congressmen abstained while two others were absent.

The Senate is expected to suspend Rousseff next month ahead of a formal trial into charges that she manipulated the economic figures ahead of her re-election in late 2014.

If the Senate votes for impeachment, Ms Rousseff will be put on trial in the upper chamber and will be removed from office permanently if found guilty. She has two opportunities to appeal during the whole process.

An estimated 25,000 protesters from both sides besieged the Congress building while hundreds of thousands of protesters watched the process on giant TV screens in cities across the country.

Like rival football fans Rousseff’s Workers Party supporters wore red and opponents the green and yellow of the Brazilian flag.