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Hundreds Of Thousands Take To The Streets In Brazil Demanding President's Impeachment

Protests are underway in Brazil as hundreds of thousands take to the streets to call for the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff. Here's Bloomberg:

An estimated 25,000 protesters in Brasilia marched toward Congress, chanting against Rousseff and corruption, carried a long banner demanding “Impeachment Now.”

 

Rouseff monitored proceedings from her official residence, due to meet with some of her cabinet in the afternoon, said Justice Minister Jose Eduardo Cardozo.

Protest in

: "Military intervention is not a crime" via UNBELIEVABLE. pic.twitter.com/S8kcJmUJnq

— juliana barbassa (@jbarbassa)

Background:

When the world’s foremost mainstream media outlets begin to run stories with titles like: "How to Impeach a Brazilian President: A Step-by-Step Guide", you know your political career may be in trouble. 

Brazil’s Dilma Rousseff - who recently became the country’s most unpopular democratically elected president since a military dictatorship ended in 1985, with an approval rating of just 8% - faces a litany of problems, not the least of which are accusations around fabricated fiscal account data and corruption at Petrobras where she was chairwoman from 2003 to 2010. 

But beyond that, Brazil is mired in stagflation and, as Morgan Stanley recently noted, is at the center of the global EM unwind triggered by falling commodity prices, slowing demand from China, and an imminent Fed rate hike. Underscoring the depth of the economic malaise is the following graphic from Goldman which shows that when it comes to inflation-growth outcomes, it doesn’t get much worse than what Brazil suffered through in Q2. 

Now, frustrations have apparently reached a boiling point (again) and mass demonstrations are planned for Sunday. Here’s Bloomberg with more:

As allegations of corruption and incompetence swamp Brazil’s government, and plummeting commodity prices sap its economy, hundreds of thousands of angry citizens are expected to descend on central squares across the country on Sunday, posing a key test for President Dilma Rousseff.

 

This will be the year’s third mass protest against Rousseff, who is facing growing calls for her impeachment. A strong showing could help support her ouster and deepen a sell-off on financial markets.

 

The Free Brazil Movement, one of the groups organizing the demonstrations, says rallies are confirmed in 114 cities.

 

Congress is watching the turnout both to judge the support for impeachment proceedings and to measure the level of discontent in their home districts.

 

Since narrowly winning reelection last October, Rousseff, Brazil’s first female president, has embarked on an austerity program that has cost her political capital. Her popularity has plummeted to 8 percent, a record low, and more than two-thirds of Brazilians support impeachment, according to Datafolha, a polling firm. The economy in 2015 is forecast to post its worst performance in 25 years amid ongoing corruption probes into politicians and executives.

 

Rousseff has reversed herself on some popular but expensive measures such as caps on electricity and gasoline prices. The middle class that doesn’t qualify for subsidies has been hardest hit as power bills rose an average 23 percent, and more than 50 percent in some regions. Higher interest rates are restricting consumer credit, unemployment has hit 6.9 percent and inflation is rising, inching toward 10 percent.

 


 

Rousseff won election in 2010 following Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the central figure of the Workers’ Party. She rode his popularity for most of her first term until demonstrations in 2013 brought millions to the streets protesting corruption and spending on the World Cup hosted by Brazil last year.

 

Rousseff recovered enough to win reelection but protests in March and April took aim at her.

Renan Machado, a 29-year-old lawyer from Sao Paulo said Sunday’s rallies will be an opportunity to demonstrate the outrage shared by many Brazilians.

 

“I’m going to protest to end this wave of corruption because I can’t stand this incompetent government any longer,” Machado said.

And more from AP:

Demonstrators are taking to the streets of cities and towns across Brazil for a day of nationwide anti-government protests.

 

Sunday's protests, which were called mostly via social media by a variety of groups, are seen as a barometer of popular discontent with President Dilma Rousseff. Her second term in office has been shaken by a snowballing corruption scandal involving politicians from her Workers' Party, as well as a spluttering economy, spiraling currency and rising inflation.

 

Thousands of people brandishing green and yellow Brazilian flags streamed onto Rio's Copacabana Beach, and smaller demonstrations were under way in the Amazonian city of Belem and the central city of Belo Horizonte.

 

It was the third large-scale anti-government demonstration this year.