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Govt says police not enough to meet speakers’ request

25/05/2017 - 12:54

Marcelo Brandão reports from Agência Brasil 

The presidential office has said President Michel Temer’s decision to use the Armed Forces to control protests in the Esplanade of Ministries on Wednesday afternoon (May 24) was made based on information that the troops of civilian police, military police, and fire brigade were not enough to meet the request from the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, Rodrigo Maia.

“… upon verifying that police security forces requested by the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies was insufficient, the President of the Republic decided to deploy troops from the Armed Forces to protect the integrity of people, in accordance with Article 142 of the Federal Constitution,” an excerpt from the statement released on Wednesday evening read.

The presidency cited the disturbances as demonstrators protesting against the reforms currently under discussion in Congress and calling for the removal of Michel Temer clashed with police. The protesters smashed ministry building windows and set chemical toilets on fire, and police in turn fired stun grenades, tear gas, and rubber bullets. The government said the conflicts prompted the use of military personnel to protect public property.

“The demonstrations in Brasília today, as widely shown on the media, have created violence and vandalism, which regrettably endangered the lives and safety of government employees working in the Esplanade of Ministries in the federal capital. […] The President of the Republic emphasizes he will not hesitate to use the authority conferred on him by his position as required.” The note went on to say that “once order has been restored, this order will be revoked.”

Earlier on, Defense Minister Raul Jungmann gave an address saying the presidential order granted a request from the lower house speaker. The speaker contended he had requested the National Force, not the Armed Forces. The federal government’s decision sparked rows between government allies and opposition in Congress.

Translated by Mayra Borges

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Última atualização por - 05/11/2017 - 14:02

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