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Protesters fill streets across Brazil to demand impeachment of president

Jair Bolsonaro has come under fire for his government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

2.62832807 Source: PA

TENS OF THOUSANDS of people have marched through Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and dozens of other cities across Brazil in protest against President Jair Bolsonaro and calling for his impeachment over his government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Bolsonaro, who is not vaccinated and does not usually wear a mask, has underestimated the severity of the virus and has even promoted crowds during the pandemic.

Some 597,000 people have died from the virus in Brazil, a country of 212 million people.

Demonstrators also protested against surging inflation in mainstays like food and electricity.

“It is very painful to see that health and education are being destroyed, and there are many starving people in the country,” Marilena Magnano, a 75-year-old retiree, said.

“We need Bolsonaro out of the government, his time has passed.”

The president’s approval ratings have steadily declined throughout the year, but he remains far more popular than prior presidents who were impeached – most recently Dilma Rousseff.

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Saturday’s protests, smaller than those staged in support of Bolsonaro last month, were promoted by leftist parties and some union movements linked to the former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s Workers’ Party. Da Silva is widely expected to run against Bolsonaro in next October’s presidential election.

More than 130 impeachment requests have been filed since the start of Mr Bolsonaro’s administration, but the lower house’s speaker, Arthur Lira, and his predecessor have declined to open proceedings.

Division among the opposition is the key reason analysts consider it unlikely there will be enough pressure on Lira to open impeachment process.

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