Thousands of Brazilians took the streets to call for the impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro, who is under fire for his government’s handling of Covid-19, which has raged through the country and claimed more than 216,000 lives.
Horn-honking cars paraded through the streets of Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo and a dozen or more other cities as other protesters marched on foot, some calling, Get out Bolsonaro The protests were called by conservative groups that had once backed the president, while those on Saturday had come from the left.
When Bolsonaro arrived, we voted for him for his proposals that we found interesting, but the situation now with the pandemic is terrible , said Meg Fernandes, a 66-year-old engineer who joined a protest in Rio on Sunday.
She said she was especially alarmed by the situation in the northern city of Manaus, where there’s a waiting list for hospital intensive-care beds and a shortage of medical oxygen. I had already been disappointed last year, but now with the situation in Manaus, I think (this government ) has to stop, she said.
Thomaz Favaro, a political analyst at consultancy Control Risks, said Bolsonaro faces little risk of impeachment, though that could change if his allies lose a February 2 vote for leadership of the lower house. Bolsonaro’s base in congress is unstable, but it is robust, he said, though it could be dented by the president’s flagging popularity. But he said impeachment would be “a nuclear option that changes the country’s political trajectory.
Bolsonaro who is midway through his four-year term has faced renewed criticism in recent weeks for both the crisis in Manaus and for delays in launching Brazil’s immunisation campaign against Covid-19. The President has long resisted lockdown measures against the new coronavirus, arguing economic damage would be worse than the disease. Both lives and livelihood are important during pandemic.