Brazil’s new president cheered, booed at independence celebration

Brasilia, Sep 8 (IANS) Michel Temer, sworn-in as President on August 31 after Congress deposed Dilma Rousseff, was greeted on Wednesday with both applause and jeering as he led the parade marking 194 years of Brazil’s independence.

Traditionally, the President rides in a vintage Rolls Royce convertible presented to Brazil in 1953 by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, but Temer and wife Marcela Araujo Temer opted instead for a closed vehicle with armour plating.

While many of the roughly 30,000 people lining Brasilia’s Esplanade of the Ministries for the procession applauded as the first couple rode past, others erupted in boos and chants of “Temer out”, which has become the battle cry of Rousseff’s supporters since her ouster on August 31.

Temer’s partisans responded with slogans such as “our flag will never be red” and “communists out”.

Rousseff’s erstwhile Vice President became head of state after senators voted 61-20 to oust the country’s first woman President over alleged accounting irregularities in the federal budget.

Denying any wrongdoing, Rousseff called the impeachment process a “parliamentary coup”.

Besides the protests in Brasilia, political activists and grassroots groups unhappy about the removal of Rousseff mounted demonstrations on Wednesday in Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro.

Since becoming interim President in May, Temer — who is under investigation for corruption — has pushed privatisations and sales of state assets, ideas that are strongly opposed by the majority of those who voted to give nominal socialist Rousseff a second four-year term in October 2014.

–IANS

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