Brazil's largest party will decide on Tuesday to break away from President Dilma Rousseff's floundering coalition, party leaders said, sharply raising the odds that the country's first woman president will be impeached amid a corruption scandal.
The fractious Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) will decide at its national leadership meeting on the pace of disengagement from the Rousseff administration, in which it holds seven ministerial posts and the vice presidency.
A formal rupture appears inevitable and will increase the isolation of the unpopular Rousseff, freeing PMDB members to vote for her impeachment.
That makes it likely Rousseff will be temporarily suspended from office by Congress as early as May and replaced by Vice President Michel Temer, leader of the PMDB, while the Senate decides if she should be permanently ousted.
In the first step toward an imminent rupture, Tourism Minister Henrique Eduardo Alves, a PMDB leader and former speaker of the lower house of Congress, announced on Monday he was resigning from Rousseff's cabinet. "Dialogue, I regret to say, has been exhausted," Alves said in his resignation letter to Rousseff.
Temer aides said the vice president is ready to take over and move fast to restore business confidence in Brazil, in an effort to pull the economy out of a tailspin. Brazilian media reported over the weekend that a team of Temer aides is drawing up a plan for his first weeks as president.