Violent protests rocked Brazil’s capital on Wednesday as President Michel Temer sought to suppress a revolt within his own party after last week’s damaging graft allegations.
Protesters set fire to the ministry of agriculture, prompting the government to send in federal troops. Tens of thousands of demonstrators demanding the president’s removal clashed with police amid clouds of tear gas. Protesters mobilized by labor unions broke into several ministry buildings shattering windows and causing widespread damage. Helicopters circled a thick plume of black smoke in the most violent scenes Brasilia has witnessed in years.
Meanwhile, inside the presidential palace, government allies debated whether to stick with the embattled president. The best solution to remove Temer, who is being investigated by the prosecutor-general on corruption and cover-up charges, is for the top electoral court to annul the 2014 election result in which he shared a ticket with ousted President Dilma Rousseff, according to half a dozen legislators from his ruling PMDB party who spoke to Bloomberg News. The court will retake the case on alleged illegal campaign financing on June 6.