Another mass demonstration as 63% of Brazilians want President impeached

By David Biller and Anna Edgerton

(Bloomberg) — Brazilians took to the streets for the second time in a month to protest the country’s biggest corruption scandal and government austerity measures aimed at preserving the nation’s investment grade rating.

A demonstrator dressed as Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff takes part during a protest against Rousseff in Brasilia April 12, 2015. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A demonstrator dressed as Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff takes part during a protest against Rousseff in Brasilia April 12, 2015. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino 

Demonstrators marched in cities throughout the nation, with the biggest gathering occurring at Avenida Paulista, the heart of Brazil’s largest city, Sao Paulo. The state’s military police estimated attendance at 275,000 people. Thousands more thronged Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana beach, all wearing green and canary yellow shirts as 3,000 joined a protest in Belo Horizonte.

Overall turnout was smaller than March 15 when one million Brazilians participated in the Sao Paulo street protest alone. In the capital Brasilia on Sunday, only 25,000 people marched, according to an estimate from the Military Police, about half as many as last month. Globo news service G1’s website reported demonstrations in 170 cities nationwide.

Sunday’s smaller turnout could be attributed in part to poor organization including lack of clarity about times and locations of demonstrations, according to Thiago de Aragao at Arko Advice. The marches last month and Sunday were organized mostly through social media by an assortment of groups with a variety of demands that included the return to a military government.

“The lower turnout by no means signals less dissatisfaction with the government,” De Aragao, a partner and director of strategy at the Brasilia-based political risk company, said by phone.

Rousseff’s approval rating continued at a record-low 13 percent, according to a April 9-10 poll conducted by Datafolha.

Of those surveyed, 63 percent said that they favored the start of impeachment procedures against Rousseff given the information available on an alleged scheme to channel Petrobras funds to political parties, including the ruling Workers’ Party, known as PT.

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