Brazil: Michel Temer Heckled and Booed in First Events as President

Brazilian President Michel Temer. Credit: Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

Brazilian President Michel Temer. Credit:Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino

Protesters jeered Brazil’s new President Michel Temer on Wednesday as he participated in the county’s Independence Day parade in Brasilia and the opening ceremonies of the Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro, his first official events since taking office on August 31.

Protesters at the events and in nearly a dozen other state capitals across Brazil were shouting “Temer Out” and “Usurper”.

Police in Brasilia estimated the number of protesters gathered in the nation’s capital at about 600, relatively small compared with protests that brought millions to the streets on occasion over the last two years of impeached President Dilma Rousseff’s administration.

Despite the early demonstrations, markets have given Temer and his economic team the benefit of the doubt, for now. Brazil’s real and main stock index have gained nearly 3% since Rousseff’s ouster, even as a new corruption scandal hit the government last week.

His team is expected to oversee a recovery of Brazil’s economy, bogged down in its worst recession in 80 years, but economists do not predict a robust turnaround over the next 12 months.

Investors also expect Temer to push through unpopular and difficult reforms of the country’s bloated pension system, burdensome tax code and inflexible labor laws.