Impeachment session starts in Brazil, police disperse protest

Lula Da Silva’s appointment as Minister, critics say, will help him evade prosecutors

Updated - December 04, 2021 11:01 pm IST

Published - March 19, 2016 12:18 am IST - SAO PAULO/BRASILIA:

Brazilian riot police fired water cannon and tear gas to disperse anti-government protesters in central Sao Paulo on Friday, while in Congress opponents of President Dilma Rousseff started the clock ticking on impeachments sessions.

The anti-government protesters had blocked Sao Paulo’s central Avenue Paulista since Wednesday evening when demonstrations erupted against the appointment of former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as a minister.

Opponents say his nomination is designed to help Mr. Lula evade prosecutors who have charged him with money laundering and fraud. Only Brazil’s Supreme Court has jurisdiction in cases against ministers.

A federal judge issued an injunction to suspend his appointment on Thursday on the grounds that it was impeding the judicial process. The attorney-general said he would appeal this.

Authorities dispersed opposition demonstrators from Sao Paulo’s Avenue Paulista to avert possible clashes with a pro-government rally planned in the same area for Friday afternoon. Mr. Lula was due to address that gathering.

In Brasilia, where thousands of demonstrators have demanded Ms. Rousseff’s ouster over the last two days, police told protesters to stay away from the Congress building where a pro-government demonstration was planned for 5 p.m local time.

In Congress’ lower house, opposition parties sped up the impeachment of Ms. Rousseff by holding a session on Friday, a day that lawmakers are normally away from Brasilia.

The President has 10 sessions of the house to present her defence and – even though the special impeachment committee did not meet on Friday — the clock started ticking.

The impeachment case is centred on allegations that Ms. Rousseff broke budget rules to boost spending as she campaigned for re-election in 2014.

Antonio Imbassahy, the leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party of Brazil (PSDB) party in the lower house, said the committee could present its finding by mid-April.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.