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Brazilians take to streets demanding Pres. Rousseff’s ouster

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Demonstrators attend a protest against Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, in Brasilia, March 13, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

Thousands of protesters in Brazil have poured onto the streets of major cities in the country, demanding the ouster of President Dilma Rousseff amid political and economic crises.

The nationwide demonstrations on Sunday were the latest in a wave of anti-government rallies that have recently gained momentum as a massive corruption scandal has spread into Rousseff’s inner circle.

Thousands of people were already gathering in the cities of Rio and Brasilia, and organizers said people in more than 400 cities in all would be involved in the protest action.

The largest demonstration is expected to be held in Sao Paulo, the country’s financial capital and main opposition stronghold. Authorities said they were bracing for a million protesters there.

Rousseff, meanwhile, has urged demonstrators to refrain from violence and remain peaceful in their protests.

“I am appealing for there not to be violence. I think all people have a right to be on the streets. However, no one has a right to be violent,” Rousseff said late Saturday.

Meanwhile, polls show that Rousseff’s popularity in the country has diminished due to the alleged involvement of people close to her in the corruption scandal centering on state oil company Petrobras and because of allegations of that her mismanagement of the economy is responsible for the current recession.

A demonstrator wearing a mask depicting Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff and prison attire waves to people as they attend a protest against Rousseff, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, March 13, 2016. (Photo by Reuters)

Her mentor in the leftist Workers’ Party, ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has been accused of being part of the Petrobras corruption network.

Criminal charges filed against Lula on Wednesday for the alleged, undeclared ownership of a luxury apartment have invigorated the opposition.

Rousseff is also blamed by many in Brazil for plunging the economy into its worst recession in at least 25 years.

The size of public turnout in today’s protests could be decisive in convincing a divided Congress to either back ongoing impeachment proceedings against Rousseff or not.

More than half of Brazilians favor the impeachment of Rousseff, according to polls.

Rousseff has, until now, brushed off demands for her resignation and blamed the opposition for the ongoing crises.

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