World

Brazilian protesters call for impeachment of Bolsonaro for 2nd time in a month

Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic.

Protests occur amid ongoing drop in popularity for Brazilian leader

A demonstrator holds a placard reading 'Impeachment' on an image depicting Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro during a protest in downtown Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. (Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

Protesters took to the streets in several Brazilian cities on Saturday to demand the impeachment of far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, whose popularity has fallen in recent weeks amid corruption scandals against the backdrop of the pandemic.

News broke this week that Brazil's Defence Ministry told congressional leadership that next year's elections would not take place without amending the country's electronic voting system to include a paper trail of each vote.

Bolsonaro has suggested several times without evidence that the current system is prone to fraud, allegations that Brazil's government has denied.

A protester displays a puppet version of Bolsonaro during a demonstration in Rio de Janeiro on Saturday. (Ricardo Moraes/Reuters)

The president is facing re-election next year in a race in which he is likely to face his political nemesis, former leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Polls currently show Bolsonaro losing against Lula.

Continued opposition from protesters

Saturday's protests — including this one in downtown Rio de Janeiro — were at least the second time this month that Brazilians, in multiple cities, had taken to the streets to oppose the president. (Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images)

Saturday's protests were at least the second time this month that Brazilians have taken to the streets in several cities to oppose Bolsonaro.

"I'm here because it is time to react to the genocidal government that we have that has taken over our country," said Marcos Kirst, a protester in Sao Paulo.

A man dressed up as Spider-Man displays a sign during a protest against Bolsonaro in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Saturday. The sign reads 'Impeachment now! Bolsonaro in jail!' (Carla Carniel/Reuters)

More than 500,000 Brazilians have died of COVID-19 under the leadership of Bolsonaro, who has been widely criticized for dismissing the severity of the disease and opposing masks and physical-distancing measures.

Bolsonaro is now being investigated in the Senate, which is probing the possibility of corruption tied to the purchase of an Indian coronavirus vaccine.

Demonstrators take part in a protest against Bolsonaro's government in Sao Paulo on Saturday. (Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images)

On Sao Paulo's Paulista Avenue, the traditional location for political protests, more than 1,000 people were gathering as of 4 p.m. local time on Saturday.

A man wears an alligator hat and a mask that reads 'Bolsonaro out' during a protest against the Brazilian president in Sao Paulo on Saturday. (Carla Carniel/Reuters)

There were later some clashes with police in Sao Paulo, with video showing police using tear gas and advancing on protesters.

Bolsonaro was in Brasilia, the capital, on Saturday and went out for a motorcycle ride while greeting supporters.

Demonstrators — holding a banner with a message that reads in Portuguese '550 thousand deaths, Bolsonaro!' — demand the impeachment of the president at the Esplanade of Ministries in Brasilia, Brazil, on Saturday. (Eraldo Peres/The Associated Press)

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