Protests have erupted in Brazil’s major cities over President Michel Temer’s decision not to step down, despite allegations of direct involvement in the unfolding bribery scandal.
Around 5,000 people marched in Rio de Janeiro, chanting “direct elections, now” and carrying banners reading “out with Temer.”
Anti-Temer demonstrations have also been held in San Paolo and the country’s capital, Brasília, where demonstrators gathered in front of the parliament building. Hundreds flocked to the presidential headquarters in the country’s capital shouting “Temer out.”
In Rio, a small group of demonstrators threw bottles and fireworks at military police, who deployed tear gas and stun grenades in response, Globo TV reported.
“This government has no political condition, as well as moral condition. It has no legitimacy to continue… It is necessary that Brazil find a way through direct election,” one protester, Thiago Pereira, told RT’s Ruptly video news agency.
The protest was sparked by Temer’s statement on Thursday in which he vowed not to resign, insisting on his innocence.
Maria de Souza, another participant in the march, said that Temer’s resignation is not enough to solve the crisis.
“We are protesting against all the law reforms. It is not enough to overthrow the current representative of capital,” she said, adding that reforms involving spending cuts need to be reversed.
“The important thing is stopping the law reforms, labor and retirement law reforms. It is essential to go on fighting for the public health and education.”
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