Protesters take to the streets of Brazil to demand the impeachment of the president
Tens of thousands of people marched in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and dozens of other cities in Brazil to protest President Jair Bolsonaro and demand his impeachment for his government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Bolsonaro, who is not vaccinated and usually does not wear a mask, underestimated the severity of the virus and even encouraged crowds during the pandemic.
Some 597,000 people have died from the virus in Brazil, a country of 212 million people.
Protesters also protested against soaring inflation in pillars like food and electricity.
“It is very painful to see that health and education are destroyed, and there are a lot of starving people in the country,” said Marilena Magnano, a 75-year-old retiree.
“We need Bolsonaro out of government, his time is over. “
The president’s approval ratings have steadily declined throughout the year, but he remains much more popular than previous presidents who have been impeached – most recently Dilma Rousseff.
Saturday’s protests, smaller than those organized in support of Mr Bolsonaro last month, were promoted by left-wing parties and some trade union movements linked to the Workers’ Party of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Mr da Silva is generally expected to run against Mr Bolsonaro in the presidential election next October.
More than 130 impeachment requests have been filed since the start of Mr Bolsonaro’s administration, but lower house president Arthur Lira and his predecessor have refused to initiate proceedings.
The division within the opposition is the main reason analysts believe there is unlikely to be enough pressure on Mr Lira to initiate the impeachment process.