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HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The principle issue of the demonstrators remained the government’s mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to the death of nearly 597,000 people in the country.
  • The protestors were backed by several leftist parties and union movements.
  • Over 130 impeachment requests have been filed against Bolsonaro since the beginning of his administration, however, lower house speaker Arthur Lira and his predecessors have refused to move forward with the proceedings.

On October 2, a significant number of demonstrators gathered in several cities of Brazil including Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, to protest against President Jair Bolsonaro and demand his impeachment over his government’s handling of the pandemic. The protests have flared up at a time when the presidential election in Brazil is a year away.

The protests were aided by leftist parties and union movements maintaining their links to former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s Worker’s Party. Bolsonaro is expected to have Mr. Da Silva as his competitor in the upcoming presidential election of October 2, 2022.

The principle target of the October 2 protests was the mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic by the president. Mr. Bolsonaro has been underestimating the virus of the pandemic right from its beginning and have promoted gatherings during the pandemic as well. Adding up to it, he is not vaccinated and is not usually seen wearing a mask.

The pandemic has led to the death of approximately 597,000 people in Brazil, whose total population sums up to 212 million. Other agendas of the protestors included issues like inflation in electricity and food. According to sources, Marilena Magnano, a 75 year-old retiree, has told the press, “it is very painful to see that health and education are being destroyed, and there are many starving people in the country.” Magnano has added, “we need Bolsonaro out of the government, his time has passed.”

Since the beginning of Mr. Bolsonaro’s administration, the number of impeachment requests filed against him exceeds 130. However, Arthur Lira, the lower house’s speaker along with his predecessors, has refused to open proceedings. Analysts have maintained that Mr. Lira will not be facing a significant amount of pressure over the proceedings, due to the division among the opposition.