Mass protests against new ‘coup pres­i­dent’ of Brazil

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

SAO PAULO — Tens of thou­sands took to Brazil­ian streets on Sun­day to sup­port sacked leader Dilma Rouss­eff and protest the new gov­ern­ment of Michel Te­mer, who has taken power and down­played the protests.

Demon­stra­tion or­gan­is­ers — who have re­jected Te­mer’s as­cen­dancy as a “coup” — said ap­prox­i­mately 100 000 pro­tes­tors filled the ma­jor artery Paulista Av­enue, many hold­ing ban­ners that read “Out with Te­mer!” and “Di­rect elec­tions now!”

The Se­nate voted on Wed­nes­day to con­vict Rouss­eff, Brazil’s first wo­man pres­i­dent, on charges of hav­ing il­le­gally ma­nip­u­lated gov­ern­ment ac­counts, strip­ping her of her of­fice and re­plac­ing her with Te­mer, her bit­ter en­emy and for­mer vice pres­i­dent.

The protest ended with clashes be­tween demon­stra­tors and po­lice, who fired gas bombs, ac­cord­ing to the news web­site G1.

Te­mer, who af­ter be­ing sworn in promptly trav­elled to China for the G20 sum­mit, said the protests were done by “small groups and preda­tors”.

“These are small groups . . . I don’t have it nu­mer­i­cally, but they are 40, 50, 100 peo­ple. It’s noth­ing more than that. Out of 204 mil­lion Brazil­ians, I don’t think it means much,” media out­lets quoted Te­mer as say­ing.

The op­po­si­tion dis­missed the pres­i­dent’s fig­ures: “The coup pres­i­dent of Brazil said that our demon­stra­tion would have 40 peo­ple. Here are those 40 peo­ple – we’re al­ready al­most 100 000 on Paulista Av­enue,” said Guil­herme Bou­los, a mem­ber of one of the op­po­si­tion groups that or­gan­ised the protest.

The demon­stra­tion was held in the late af­ter­noon so as not to in­ter­fere with the pass­ing of the torch from the Par­a­lympic Games, a Rio event due to start within three days, where an­other 2 000 peo­ple had demon­strated. — AFP

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