Agony and ecstacy in Brazil

Agony and ecstacy in Brazil

Like fans watching a football final, Brazilians cheered and hugged when lawmakers voted for President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment, while the losing side sobbed and walked out in disgust at the result.

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Tens of thousands massed on the lawn outside Congress in Brasilia while thousands more held rival rallies in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and other cities, with samba beats animating the crowds.

In the capital, the crowds were separated by a kilometer-long metal wall and they watched the five-hour-long drama unfold on eight large screens, with each side loudly jeering or cheering as each lawmaker declared their vote.

Brasilia’s wall became a symbol of the country's ideological divide in a searing political and economic crisis, just four months before Rio de Janeiro hosts the Summer Olympics.

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When vote number 342 was cast, giving the impeachment backers their two-thirds majority needed to recommend impeachment to the Senate, Rousseff opponents jumped in celebration, launched small fireworks and chanted "ciao dear.

It was tough for Rousseff's supporters to swallow. They believe the impeachment is nothing more than a coup to get rid of the nation's first female president. 

Agence France-Presse