Brazilians protest in Rio ahead Olympic Games | News | DW | 01.08.2016
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Brazilians protest in Rio ahead Olympic Games

With the Summer Olympics just days away, thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Brazil. Some are calling for the ouster of suspended President Dilma Rousseff, while others are calling for her return.

Protesters gathered Sunday on Rio de Janeiro's famed Copacabana beach to call for the ouster of suspended President Dilma Rousseff, just five days before the Olympic Games were set to kick off.

In a reminder of the political upheaval that has rocked Brazil in the runup to the games, both pro and anti-Rousseff rallies were held in at least 10 other states, mostly drawing small crowds. Rousseff faces impeachment proceedings that are likely to permanently remove her from office within weeks.

In Rio, protesters chanted "Out Dilma! Out corruption!" with messages written on banners for foreign tourists to see as they visited the beach. Around 500,000 people are expected to visit Rio de Janeiro as Brazil hosts its first Olympics between August 5 and 21.

"This is a warmup party, you might say, for us to keep the pressure on the Senate ... to show that the Brazilian people will not accept Dilma Rousseff remaining in power," said Carlos Carvalho, one of the organizers of the Rio protest, speaking with Reuters.

Ongoing political crisis

Demonstrations were also held in 15 states against acting President Michel Temer, who has recognized that he will likely be booed at the opening ceremony on Friday. Rousseff, along with her ally, former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva have both said they won't attend.

Their absence from the ceremony highlights the ongoing political crisis in Brazil with Rousseff facing possible impeachment for allegedly breaking government budget laws. Silva, who as president was instrumental in Rio's winning bid as Olympic host, was charged Friday with obstruction of justice in an ongoing corruption probe.

The Brazilian Senate is expected to vote to remove Rousseff in late August or early September. If she is permanently removed, Temer will remain president until the end of 2018.

bw/cmk (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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