Burris set to replace Obama in Senate

January 13th, 2009 - 8:56 am ICT by IANS  

Barack ObamaWashington, Jan 13 (DPA) Democratic leaders in the US Senate have accepted Roland Burris as the successor to president-elect Barack Obama, ending a two-week stalemate over the controversial appointment.Burris was expected to be sworn in later this week after he was turned back when Congress began its new session Tuesday, CNN reported. The Democrats had said they would prevent Burris from taking his seat because he was appointed by Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Blagojevich was arrested Dec 9 on corruption charges, including attempting to solicit bribes from potential candidates to succeed Obama. He has refused to resign and held onto his legal authority to fill the seat vacated by Obama after he won the presidential election.

The Illinois House of Representatives voted Friday to impeach Blagojevich based on the broad corruption charges facing the governor. The Illinois Senate is expected to soon take up the proceedings against Blagojevich.

Burris has not been accused of any wrongdoing, but Democrats were worried that any appointment by Blagojevich would not be credible. The Democrats began softening their position a day after refusing to seat Burris, who is also a Democrat.

Blagojevich faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

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