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In run-up to Rio Games, thousands rally for and against Rousseff

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In run-up to Rio Games, thousands rally for and against Rousseff

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In the run-up to the Summer Olympics, hundreds of Brazilians took to the streets on Sunday (July 31) in protest against Michel Temer, who is replacing president Dilma Rousseff until a Senate vote due by next month.

Shouting “Temer out,” the protesters walked through downtown Rio de Janeiro and rallied in the city’s main square, Praca Square.

Rousseff was suspended in May for allegedly violating fiscal laws by borrowing billions from state banks to cover budget gaps without informing Congress. Her vice-president Temer stepped in to fill her role.

Rousseff’s supporters see her impeachment process as a politically motivated coup. If 54 out of 81 senators vote against her, she will be permanently removed and interim president Temer could stay on the job until the end of her term in 2018.

“Out Dilma! Out corruption!”

Elsewhere in Rio, hundreds more marched peacefully to demand Rousseff’s removal from power and a cleanup of politics from corruption. Nearly all wearing the national colors of yellow and green, they chanted “Out Dilma! Out corruption!”

Those messages were also written in English on banners for tourists to see on their way to Copacabana beach. Half a million visitors are expected to flock to Rio for the Games, between Aug. 5 and 21.

Among the protesters, Alberto Cerqueira Lima waved an image of Rousseff’s face inside a toilet seat with a sign reading “Don´t forget to flush.”

“We need a new start, the structure of Brazilian politics has started overflowing, we need to clean up the mess and start afresh, new proposals. It’s just incredible what we read every day in the newspapers, corruption and more corruption, we can’t take it anymore, we have to flush it away and start anew,” he said.

Rousseff’s supporters have promised massive rallies for Friday, when Temer will open the Olympics. Rousseff said she will not attend.

So far, none of the rallies were nearly as big as those seen in recent years, when hundreds of thousands marched in anti-corruption and anti-government protests.

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