Sao Paulo (AFP) – Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians demanded Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s resignation Sunday, blaming her and the leftist Workers’ Party for runaway corruption and looming recession in Latin America’s biggest country.
Crowds singing the national anthem and chanting “Dilma out!” paraded through the capital Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, the country’s largest city Sao Paulo and elsewhere across Brazil.
With some counts still incomplete, the G1 news site reported the latest police estimate for turnout to be 866,000 in dozens of cities and towns.
Organizers claimed a total of 1.9 million, including a million in Sao Paulo, where police counted only 350,000.
It was the third major anti-Rousseff protest this year, with 600,000 demonstrators taking to the streets in April and at least one million in March.
Less than a year into her second term, Rousseff is all but a lame duck, with the opposition considering controversial impeachment proceedings, and the country’s elite caught in a vast embezzlement scandal centered on state-oil company Petrobras.
“We can’t take this corruption any longer,” said Rogerio Chequer, leader of the Vem Pra Rua (Go on the Streets) group, which helped organize the protests.
“If Congress has even a minimum of sense, it will decide on impeachment,” he said at the Sao Paulo march, where many in the crowd wore the national football team’s famous yellow shirt.
Rousseff, a former leftist guerrilla, has likened impeachment threats to a coup plot and insists she will not be forced from office.
Late Sunday, her spokesman Edinho Silva said “the government sees these demonstrations as part of normal democracy.”
– Corruption and carnival –