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Hundreds rally against Brazilian government in Sao Paulo

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)
Frame grab shows Brazilians rallying against the ruling administration in Sao Paulo on April 1, 2016.

Brazil’s most populous city has witnessed a fresh protest rally against the embattled government of President Dilma Rousseff over alleged government corruption. 

On Friday, hundreds of people took to the streets of Sao Paulo, calling for the main political parties, including the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), the largest one at the parliament, to be deprived of their power.

Slamming the make-up of the legislature, the demonstrators demanded that parliamentary elections be held sooner than 2018.

Addressing the demonstration, representative of the Brazilian Confederation of Pensioners, Josias de Oliveira, said, “We think that things cannot remain like this, what they are doing today is botching things, and it means that nothing is going to change. They are just lying to the people again.”

The show of public rage came only a day after thousands rallied across the country in support of Rousseff, in a sign of a split in the nation over the scandals surrounding the head of state and her circle.

Rousseff has been accused of having doctored government accounts in 2014 so she could increase public spending as a means of wooing votes for re-election.

She has called for thousands-strong protests as the lower house of Congress is to vote in May on whether she should be impeached.

On Tuesday, the PMDB dealt her government a blow by withdrawing its ministers from the administration.

Michel Temer, vice-president of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB)

Vice-President Michel Temer, who has been credited with planning on getting the country out of its worst recession in decades, could replace Rousseff in the event her detractors manage to push their agenda.

The president’s recent appointment of her predecessor and mentor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, as her chief of staff, has also contributed to the barrage of criticism against her.

Lula is at the center of another scandal, which has become known as the Petrobras scheme.

The scandal circles around Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras, which was formerly chaired by Rousseff. Under the alleged scheme, construction companies conspired with Petrobras executives to overcharge the oil giant as much as USD two billion, some of which was paid out as bribes to politicians and parties.

Lula has been accused of accepting a luxury apartment as bribe from a company involved in the scheme. Prosecutors have also indicated that he may have had more to do with the scandal.


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