Protesters take over Copacabana Beach demanding Brazil’s president resign


Thousands of people have attended a protest concert on Copacabana Beach to demand a presidential election as pressure mounts on Brazil’s leader to resign amid corruption allegations.

Sunday’s event was called “Diretas Ja,” which translates as “Direct Elections Now”.

The concert featured Brazilian musicians such as Caetano Veloso and Milton Nascimento, Maria Gadu, Criolo and Mano Brown.

In between songs the crowd chanted: “Temer out! Direct (elections) now!”

Michel Temer’s popularity has slumped since he became president a little more than a year after Dilma Rousseff was impeached and removed from office.

Some Brazilians consider Mr Temer’s presidency illegitimate because of the way Ms Rousseff was ousted.

Many people are also angry over Mr Temer’s push to pass a series of economic changes, including capping government spending, loosening labour laws and reducing pension benefits.

His standing took a new hit after recent allegations that he endorsed paying bribes to ensure the silence of a former politician who is in prison for corruption.

Brazil’s highest court is investigating Mr Temer for alleged obstruction of justice and involvement in passive corruption, based on a recording that seems to capture his approval of the hush money. He denies wrongdoing.

If Mr Temer resigns or is forced out, Brazilian law calls for the speaker of the Chamber of Deputies to serve as interim president for up to 30 days until Congress decides who will finish the term that runs through 2018.

“It is legal, but it is not ethical,” Wagner Moura, campaigner and lead actor in the Netflix series Narocs, said of Congress picking a new leader.

Polls indicate many Brazilians want any new president chosen directly by voters.

“Morally we have to elect our next president,” said Mr Moura, who helped organise the concert with the support of left-leaning parties and social movements.

According to watchdog groups, around 60% of the members of both chambers of Congress are under investigation for various crimes including corruption.

Matheus Araujo, a business administrator who attended the protest with his baby daughter in his arms, said Congress was in no condition to choose the next president.

Mr Temer announced changes in his Cabinet on Sunday, switching the transparency minister to justice minister and vice versa.

Critics said the move was aimed at putting Mr Temer’s long-time friend Torquato Jardim in the crucial justice minister position.


World News


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