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Brazil protesters rally for impeachment

Thousands of Brazilians have taken to the streets to demand that embattled President Dilma Rousseff be removed from office. The president stands accused of illegal budgeting maneuvers that she argues are common practice.

Tens of thousands of Brazilians took to the streets Sunday to demand President Rousseff's ouster as her popularity rating hovers around a paltry 10 percent.

"Inflation is through the roof, unemployment is shockingly high and we get nothing for the amount of taxes we pay," Andre Patrao, 47, an economist demonstrating in Rio's upscale Copacabana neighborhood, told the Reuters news agency.

The turnout hit about 81,000 nationwide with 39 cities reporting demonstrations, according to police cited by the Globo television network. But it was a sharp contrast to the

2.4 million anti-Rousseff marchers on March 15.

"This is just a warm-up, there will be a huge mobilization in January," Paloma Morena, a 35-year-old scientist told Reuters on Sao Paulo's most famous street, Avenida Paulista.

Brasilien Proteste

The impeachment push in part reflects the country's anger at multiple crises, including a corruption scandal at state oil giant Petrobras

Street theatrics as Brazilian president fends off charges

Protesters carried blow-up caricatures of Rousseff and her predecessor, Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva, dressed in prison uniforms.

Lower House Speaker Eduardo Cunha has already

opened impeachment proceedings

this month agreeing Congress should consider opposition allegations that Rousseff violated budget laws to increase spending during her 2014 re-election campaign.

But the opposition is not thought to have the votes to impeach Rousseff, who denies mishandling public accounts and has pledged to fight impeachment in order to finish her second term.

Supreme Court hearing challenges to impeachment motion

Arguments are on hold

while the Supreme Court rules on a procedural motion

over whether the impeachment motion can proceed.

Pollster Datafolha said 40,000 people turned out in Brazil's largest city of Sao Paulo, down from 135,000 in an August protest and 210,000 in March.

jar/gsw (AP, Reuters, AFP)

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