Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Brazil
in support of suspended president Dilma Rousseff
, calling for her to return to office, while another group of protesters demanded her removal.
As many as 4,000 protesters held rallies in the capital Rio de Janeiro and 15 other states on Sunday to voice their support for Rousseff.
The protesters also condemned acting President Michel Temer, who replaced Rousseff after Brazil’s upper chamber of the National Congress voted to suspend her and began an impeachment trial against her in May.
Brazilians take to the streets to protest against interim President Michel Temer in the center of Rio de Janeiro on July 31, 2016. © Reuters
Rousseff’s supporters further plan to hold protests on Friday as the Olympic Games open. The leader of the homeless movement MTST, Guilherme Boulos, said the opening of the Rio Games will be “the beginning of a new cycle of struggle.”
The Games, which are set to start in Rio de Janeiro on August 5, are expected to attract millions of people from around the world.
Rousseff is accused of illegally manipulating finances to hide a growing public deficit ahead of her re-election in 2014, which she denies.
On Sunday, a few hundred protesters gathered on Rio’s Copacabana beach and some other states, calling for the permanent ouster of Rousseff.
A Senate trial on permanently removing the suspended president is expected in late August.
Protesters rally against suspended president Dilma Rousseff in the Brazilian capital, Sao Paulo on July 31, 2016. ©AFP
If the trial in August acquits Rousseff, she will be allowed to serve out her term until 2018. But if it removes her permanently, then Temer will stay in office until the end of 2018.
Rousseff has vowed to call early elections if she survives the impeachment trial and is reinstated as president.
A team of independent auditors released a 224-page report in June, concluding that there was no evidence of Rousseff having participated in the budget manipulation.
She is also under fire over a graft scandal at state oil company Petrobras, where she was the manager before taking office as president in 2010.
Rousseff has denied the allegations and repeatedly asserted that she has fallen victim to a plot by the extreme right. She has also accused the opposition of mounting a coup attempt through the impeachment bid.