Hundreds of thousands of Brazilians have taken to the streets across the country to protest against alleged government corruption and looming recession, calling for the resignation of President Dilma Rouseff.
At least 5,000 demonstrators gathered in the city center of the capital Brasilia on Sunday and a police estimate showed that some 419,000 other protesters marched in 12 other cities of Latin America’s biggest country.
Organizers, however, claim that about 664,000 people marched in nation-wide rallies.
The crowds protested against alleged endemic corruption in the government, chanting “Dilma out” and “corrupt government.”
The rallies had been largely called by web-based activist groups with demands ranging from Rousseff’s impeachment to putting an end to corruption.
“Our goal is to change Brazil. We can’t take this corruption any longer, these levels of misery and suffering. You can’t have millions of reais siphoned off each year… If Congress has even a minimum of sense, it will decide on impeachment,” said Rogerio Chequer, leader of the Vem Pra Rua (Go on the Streets) group among those organizing the protests in Sao Paulo.
Rousseff was re-elected as the country’s president in October, but her administration’s reputation has since been badly hurt by a kickback scandal involving the ruling party, crooked businessmen and the country’s giant state-run oil company Petrobras.
The Petrobras scandal emerged last year, implicating senior politicians of the governing party, to which President Rousseff belongs.
A recent poll conducted in Brazil showed that Rousseff’s approval rating has fallen a record eight percent. Other similar surveys conducted on the president’s approval ratings in April and June, also revealed a drop in her popularity.
The Sunday rallies were the third major anti-Rousseff demonstration held this year, with over 600,000 and at least one million protesters taking to the streets in April and March, respectively.
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