A demonstrator holds a Brazilian national flag as he rallies in support of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's impeachment at Paulista Avenue, in Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 19, 2016. AFP PHOTO / Miguel SCHINCARIOL
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Brazil's deepening political crisis laid bare sharp divisions in Latin America's biggest economy Saturday as President Dilma Rousseff risked impeachment and her once-popular predecessor "Lula" faced a criminal lawsuit.Rousseff had named Lula, a hero of the Latin American left, as her new chief of staff.Rousseff and Lula are accused of conniving to put him in the cabinet post, which would make him immune from criminal prosecution over corruption allegations.Police said 270,000 people joined street rallies Friday in support of Rousseff, while organizers put the turnout at 1.2 million.Recent polls showed however that Rousseff's popularity rating is about 10 percent and that 60 percent of Brazilians would support impeachment.Rousseff is accused of manipulating government accounts to boost public spending during her 2014 re-election campaign, and again in 2015 to mask a deep recession.
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