Brazil president revokes order deploying troops in capital

Brazil president revokes order deploying troops in capital

Brazil's president has canceled an order that sent soldiers into the streets of the capital, following criticism that the move was excessive and merely an effort to maintain power amid increasing calls for his resignation.

Brazilian soldiers deployed in the capital after protesters demanding President Michel Temer's ouster smashed windows and fought riot police.

Within 24 hours of their deployment in Brasilia, Brazilian troops left the streets of the capital on Thursday - gone from their positions guarding government buildings nearly as quickly as they'd manned them.

"We had no choice in order to prevent casualties among public servants and the destruction of public heritage", Jungmann said.

Demonstrators clash with police during an anti-government protest in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, May 24, 2017.

The opposition, the Workers Party (PT), which was led by impeached President Dilma Rousseff, criticized the order to deploy soldiers and said it was the behavior of an authoritarian regime. Brazil's president ordered federal troops to restore order in the country's capital following the evacuation of som.

But Temer has been on the ropes since allegations that he attempted to pay hush money to a jailed ally. Protesters started a fire inside the ministry of agriculture and damaged several other ministerial buildings.

Police responded with overwhelming and disproportionate force against the demonstrators as a whole, unleashing massive amounts of teargas, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets, sending mounted police with riot sticks into the crowds and, at one point, firing live ammunition at protesters.

The governor, who lost the 2006 presidential election to Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, said his party has to "support the government, support Brazil" so austerity measures and unpopular reforms get through Congress.

Conservative Temer had replaced leftist former-President Dilma Rousseff a year ago after she was impeached for illegally manipulating government accounts.

"When order is re-established, the decree will be revoked", the statement said.

The clashes come amidst a political corruption scandal that exploded after a recording emerged in which Temer appears to approve a series of bribes to corrupt politicians to keep them from implicating him in the larger corruption scheme engulfing Petrobras, the state-run oil company. "The president of the republic underscores that he will not hesitate to exercise the authority given to his office whenever it is necessary".

Young lawmakers in the PSDB wanted to abandon his government immediately last week when the top court approved the corruption probe into Temer.

"If this government can not hold itself up, the armed forces will not hold up this government", said Sen.

Rodrigo Maia, the speaker of the lower house of Congress, said he had asked Temer to instead use the National Force, an elite police entity. Over the past few days there has been no dialogue between Temer's team and Gilmar Mendes, the president of the TSE, according to one of the two people, who is linked to the president's defense lawyers.

Associated Press photographer Eraldo Peres reported this story in Brasilia and AP writer Mauricio Savarese reported from Rio de Janeiro. But many Brazilians, disgusted with the political class, want a snap election.

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