Brazilian activists call for president’s impeachment

Opposition activists handcuffed themselves to a pillar in Brazil’s Congress yesterday seeking the impeachment of president Dilma Rousseff for mismanaging a once-booming economy and undermining confidence in the country.

The protest inside the foyer of the lower chamber highlighted the growing pressure on Brazilian politicians to begin impeachment proceedings against a president struggling to survive economic recession and a huge corruption scandal.

“Impeachment can’t wait. Brazil cannot put up with more unemployment, recession, inflation, currency devaluation and lack of international confidence. We have to remove this president,” said the group’s leader, Carla Zambelli.

Opinion polls have shown two in every three Brazilians want to see Rousseff impeached, and her political opponents are stepping up their efforts to unseat the leftist leader one year into her second term.

The demonstrators called on house speaker Eduardo Cunha to take up an impeachment request made by lawyers from opposition parties.

Legal advisers in Congress said the petition was in order, giving Cunha a green light to proceed.

But the speaker, himself fighting for his political survival after revelations of secret bank accounts reinforced corruption accusations against him, has said he is in no hurry to set impeachment proceedings in motion.

The Rousseff government is counting on Cunha to hold off on an impeachment, presidential aides say, because he needs the votes of the ruling Workers’ Party to avoid being ousted by a house ethics committee that will meet next Tuesday.


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