With a political crisis threatening to topple Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff, thousands of her supporters rallied to her side in Rio and 17 other cities, as the embattled leader fights to survive a push to have her impeached.
Efforts to oust her have been growing amid allegations of corruption and account fiddling, budget irregularities and illegal campaign financing but her supporters see it as an attempt at a coup.
One woman at the protest agrees for the need for an end to corruption but “not removing the government, that would be a step back.”
Another supporter at the demo said that an impeachment would lead to civil unrest, saying that there is no legal basis for it, “so if it happens is something forced, and a forced (impeachment) is a coup. More and more each day we are in favour of consolidating the democracy.”
It comes after the biggest party in congress withdrew from her ruling coalition, increasing her risk of losing an impeachment vote later in April.
Her ally and former president Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva, is leading calls to keep Rousseff in office. However, he faces corruption charges linked to a corruption probe involving the state-owned oil company Petrobras.