Thousands swarm streets against acting president in Brazil

Michel Temer, the acting president took office 10 days ago, after Dilma Roussef was suspended for allegedly breaking Brazil's fiscal laws.

AP May 23, 2016 14:01:29 IST
Thousands swarm streets against acting president in Brazil

Rio de Janeiro: Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Brazil's two biggest cities to protest acting President Michel Temer, trying to keep up pressure on his interim administration only 10 days after he was sworn in.

A march in Sao Paulo yesterday was headed toward Temer's residence, but police blocked roads near the house and the interim president left for the capital of Brasilia hours earlier. Organizers estimated 2,000 people participated in the demonstration.

In Rio de Janeiro, about 1,000 protesters staged a march calling for Temer to resign.

Thousands swarm streets against acting president in Brazil

The sign on the right reads "Out Temer" (R) while the one on the left accuses Temer of involvement in a coup. Reuters

Some protesters want suspended President Dilma Rousseff back. Temer replaced her after the Senate voted to suspend the president and put her on trial for allegedly breaking fiscal laws. If 54 of the 81 senators agree that she should be impeached, she would be permanently removed from office and Temer could hold the presidency through 2018.

Opinion polls say a majority of Brazilians want Rousseff impeached, and some of the protesters yesterday called for new elections, a mechanism that is not in Brazil's electoral law at the moment.

Temer has faced daily protests in Brazil's main cities since he took office. Artists, intellectuals and politicians both left-leaning and moderate have also rejected him acting as president, not only for their opposition to Rousseff's impeachment but also for Temer's naming of an all white-male Cabinet that is trying implement more conservative policies.

Even before Temer took office, a poll said 58 percent of Brazilians wanted him impeached, too. A Supreme Court justice has ruled Temer could face impeachment proceedings for signing decrees of the same kind as those that led to the impeachment proceedings against Rousseff, but that decision has yet to be ratified.

Some of the protests against Temer were called by artists angered by his decision to fold the Culture Ministry into the Education Ministry under the control of a conservative politician with no experience in either area. On Saturday, Temer's administration announced he would re-establish the Culture Ministry, but critics said they would keep the pressure on him.

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