Lula praises Rousseff's defense speech in Senate

But it was unclear whether Rousseff will repeat her explosive claim on the Senate floor that the trial is a coup d'etat aimed at destroying her Workers' Party and restoring the right to power.

Brazilian senators have finished questioning suspended President Dilma Rousseff in her impeachment trial.

Rousseff denied charges of breaking budgetary rules and denounced the nine-month impeachment process that has paralyzed Brazilian politics as a plot to overthrow her and protect the interests of Brazil's privileged classes, including the privatization of public assets such as massive subsalt oil reserves.

During questioning that followed Rousseff's 45-minute opening speech, pro-impeachment Senator Simone Tebet said that as president, Rousseff had criminally mismanaged Brazil's accounts by taking the unauthorized loans.

Even after 15 hours of defending her corner observers said Rousseff looked fresh and engaged. The Senate was scheduled to begin proceedings for a final vote on whether to remove her permanently Tuesday.

The process began late previous year, with the Chamber of Deputies approving impeachment charges in April and the Senate in May.

"I know I will be judged, but my conscience is clear".

Rousseff said: "Today, once again, the people who voted for me are having their wishes hurt".

Adding to the sense of a showdown, Rousseff was to be accompanied by heavyweight supporters, including her presidential predecessor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, famed singer Chico Buarque and a dozen former cabinet members.

"This is totally different", Collor said, hinting that he would vote for Rousseff's removal, listing alleged mistakes that the embattled leader made in office. Local media have reported that at least 52 senators have said they will vote for ouster, while roughly 18 are opposed and 11 have not said. In May, the same body voted 55-22 to impeach and suspend her.

Temer, who stayed out of sight Monday, issued a statement calling "lies" numerous claims made about him over the last several months.

"The debate in the senate on the impeachment process raised false accusations of withdrawal of social rights, social security and labor rights", said a statement from Temer's office. However, the interim minister said that the agencies are vacant spaces.

But Monday was about Rousseff, who often appeared to be holding court, dominating the conversation as she contended that Brazil's democracy was at stake.

“I am not fighting for my term in office, ” she said, appearing calm and speaking firmly to the plenary session.

"Twice I have seen the face of death close up: when I was tortured for days on end, subjected to abuses that make us doubt humanity and the meaning of life itself, and when a serious and extremely painful illness could have cut short my life", she said. Momentum to push her out is also fueled by deep anger at Brazil's historic recession, political paralysis and a vast corruption scandal centered on state oil giant Petrobras.

The Workers' Party has held the presidency for 13 years and has frequently threatened to mobilize union workers and other followers if Rousseff is removed. But they have plenty of company: Watchdog groups estimate 60 percent of the 594 lawmakers in both chambers are being investigated for wrongdoing, many for corruption related to the Petrobras probe. "I did not commit a crime".

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