Thousands of protesters In Brazil demand removal of President Dilma Rousseff
These are not the best times for Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff as hundreds of thousands of protesters have taken to the streets across cities in Brazil demanding her impeachment.
Police put turnout at 682,000 people who marched in 195 cities, while organisers gave a total estimate of 1.5 million, with a vast majority of them attending the largest gathering, in business center Sao Paulo.
Citing corruption and economic drift as reasons for wanting Rousseff to be impeached, Sunday’s protests are the second in less than a month and came as polls showed the female president entering the second month of her second term in office with historically low approval ratings.
The demonstrations were reportedly driven by a massive corruption scandal at the state-run oil company, Petrobras, as well as a spluttering economy, a rapidly depreciating currency and political infighting.
According to Al Jazeera, a new survey also revealed that 63 percent of Brazilians would like to see Rousseff impeached and removed from office with several protesters pointing out that any option was better than Rousseff. As stated by a particular protester, Wilson Martins:
“She will keep her mandate to the end. But it is very important for us to show that we’re not happy. We are not happy with the government”
The protest movement has been organised, mostly via social media, by an assortment of different groups. While many analysts say the movement could crumble if organisers fail to deliver crowds as big as last month’s, organisers say it is not the size of rallies that counts, but the message.
Public confidence in Brazil’s political class has slumped with the detention or questioning of dozens of legislators and officials, including the treasurer of the ruling Workers Party over an alleged multi-billion dollar kickback scheme at Petrobras.
Although the widening probe has fingered a number of her party colleagues and close allies, Rousseff has not under investigation, despite her former ties to the company.