Brazil leader's supporters take to streets

Tom MarkLast Update : Tuesday 10 May 2016 - 10:15 PM
Brazil leader's supporters take to streets

Brazil impeachment: Dilma Rousseff supporters take to streets

Burning barricade in Sao Paulo, anti-impeachment protestersImage copyright EPA
Image caption Burning barricades have caused disruption in Sao Paulo and dozens of Brazilian cities

Supporters of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff have set up burning barricades and blocked roads in cities across the country in protest against moves to impeach her.

The roadblocks have caused widespread disruption in all Brazilian states.

The Senate is due to vote on Ms Rousseff’s impeachment on Wednesday.

If a simple majority of senators vote in favour of holding a full impeachment trial, she will be suspended for up to 180 days.

Protesters blocked the main access roads to Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo, causing huge traffic jams during the morning rush.

The protests spread to cities and towns across the country.

Police said there were barricades on 14 highways in Brazil’s 26 states and the Federal District, where the capital Brasilia is.

Image copyright EPA

Image caption Government supporters say they will continue showing their discontent with the impeachment

Image copyright Reuters

Image caption In Brasilia, members of the Landless Workers Movement (MST) joined the protest

In Rio de Janeiro, which will host the Olympics in August and September, protesters set up barricades at a major road linking the city to the state of Sao Paulo.

In the north-eastern city of Natal, buses did not run in the morning and the road next to the main university was blocked. Classes were suspended.

The anti-impeachment protests were organised by a left-wing umbrella organisation, Popular Brazil Front, which promised to carry on with its direct action tactics.

“We will fight everywhere to defend democracy. Brazil says no to the coup!” it said in a Facebook message.

President Rousseff has vowed to keep fighting until the end against her impeachment.

Image copyright Reuters

Image caption President Rousseff, a former political prisoner, has served only 18 months of her four-year term

Image copyright AP

Image caption Waldir Maranhao’s decision to annul the vote caught his colleagues by surprise

On Tuesday, the acting Speaker of the lower house of Congress, Waldir Maranhao, surprised the country when he announced that he had suspended the vote that allowed the impeachment process against her to go ahead.

He said the 17 April vote in the lower house had breached Congress rules. Members voted overwhelming in favour of the impeachment process going ahead.

But within less than 24 hours he had revoked his decision to annul without giving any reason for his U-turn.

In the latest development, the government has requested the Supreme Court to suspend the impeachment process for alleged irregularities.

Similar attempts have been rejected by the court.

If the Senate votes goes ahead on Wednesday and Ms Rousseff loses it, she will be replaced by Vice-President Michel Temer while the trial lasts.

She says Mr Temer is a traitor who is taking part in a political coup against her democratically elected government.

The president is accused of illegally manipulating finances to hide a growing public deficit ahead of her re-election in 2014, which she denies.

Source: BBC World

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2016-05-10 2016-05-10
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