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Brazil protesters demand Rousseff impeachment

Dilma Rousseff

Brasilia:  Several hundred protesters have gathered in Brasilia to demand the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff after they completed a 1,000-kilometre (650-mile) march on the capital.

Some two dozen marchers from the Free Brazil Movement (MBL), a growing conservative force in Brazil, marched on Congress, where they were received by opposition lawmakers and also the president of the Chamber of lawmakers, Eduardo Cunha.

“We have brought to Brasilia, the seat of power, the demands of the street. And the main demand is the dismissal, the departure of Dilma Rousseff,” said MBL co-founder Renan Santos yesterday.

“This (demand) will have to be taken seriously… there must be a vote,” he added, speaking to a crowd that police estimated at around 300.

Center-right Congressman Carlos Sampaio hailed the MBL, and said he supported the group’s fight against corruption.

“This is a very important day as Congress has received protesters bearing the indignation of a whole country against a government of lies and corruption,” said Sampaio, of the opposition Brazilian Social Democracy Party.

The MBL was one of the forces behind a series of protests earlier this year, some of which saw as many as three million people on the streets.

The movement is a focal point for mainly middle class anti-Rousseff demonstrators hoping to piggyback on 2013 protests against corruption and the costs of hosting the 2014 World Cup and next year’s Rio Olympics.

Rousseff was re-elected last year to a second term as the head of the Workers’ Party, which has ruled Brazil for 12 years.

Under her rule, Brazil has also seen the eruption of the biggest graft scandal in the country’s history.

An investigation has tainted dozens of business leaders and politicians accused of taking kickbacks on contracts involving oil giant Petrobras.

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