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Brazilians in Sao Paulo hold pro-Rousseff rally

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)
Supporters of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff hold a banner reading "Dilma stays!", as they attend a march in Sao Paulo, March 8, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Brazilians have demonstrated in their thousands to show their support for President Dilma Rousseff, amid calls from opponents for her impeachment.

Organizers said some 30,000 people poured onto the streets of Sao Paulo on Thursday night in support of Rousseff but police put the number at about 17,000.

Most of the demonstrators marched toward the headquarters of TV Globo, the country’s television network, which the president’s supporters accuse of waging an anti-Rousseff campaign. 

The opposition has jumped on a multi-billion-dollar graft case at state oil company Petrobras to pressure the president to step down.

Rousseff's opponents accuse her of manipulating government accounts for her own benefit during the 2014 re-election, a charge she denies.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff (AFP)

'Fascist methods' 

On Thursday, President Rousseff slammed the “fascist methods” of the opposition seeking her ouster. She said the political crisis that the country is now facing would leave a "scar" if not resolved on a democratic basis.

In an interview with several foreign media outlets, Rousseff said she was under pressure from her opponents to resign because they wanted “to avoid the difficulty of removing - unduly, illegally and criminally - a legitimately elected president from power.”

She said any attempt to remove her without legal basis would represent a “coup.”

“I am not comparing the coup here to the military coups of the past, but it would be a breaking of the democratic order of Brazil,” said Rousseff, adding any such move would “leave a deep scar on Brazilians' political life.”

Rousseff was re-elected last year as president of Brazil for her second term. Her government is now facing many challenges, including high inflation, unemployment, recession and a financial deficit.

Currently, the opposition does not have enough votes to impeach Rousseff. The driving force behind the impeachment bid, Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha, is himself facing formal charges of taking as much as USD 40 million in bribes in the Petrobras investigation.

Many believe that the impeachment crisis is partly related to Cunha’s attempt to distract attention from his case.

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