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Rousseff Defends Herself Against Impeachment Calls Amid Protests

03/10/2015 - 09h00

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MARIANA HAUBERT
FROM BRASÍLIA

After being the target of "panelaços" - protests in which protestors bash cooking pans - and "buzinaços" - protests in which drivers honk their horns - while she made a speech on TV and radio for International Women's Day, President Dilma Rousseff has appealed for calm, downplaying the protests while also defending citizens' right to do so.

However, Rousseff also said that the protests must not become violent, and said that the issue of her impeachment should not become an unofficial "third round" of the elections, arguing that this would cause a "democratic rupture" in the country.

During her speech, there were protests in at least 12 state capitals: São Paulo, Brasília, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, Vitória, Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Goiânia, Belém, Recife, Maceió and Fortaleza.

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At the windows of apartment buildings, residents bashed pots and pans and cursed the president, while they switched lights on and off.

"I don't believe that Brazilians think that the worse things become, the better. Those that do have no commitment to the country", Rousseff said.

Rousseff said that are no reasons for her impeachment, which she suggests has become a "third round" of the elections, referring to Sunday's (8) protests.

"I think we have to lay out reasons for impeachment. It can't just be a third round of the elections. We have to respect the rules of our democracy. The election is over, there were two rounds. A third round cannot occur without there being a democratic rupture", she said.

Rousseff also said that the protests scheduled for March 15 in various cities do not have the right to request her impeachment.

Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE

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