By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The interim president of Brazil, Michel Temer, gave his first TV interview on Sunday night as temporary leader of the country. In several cities all over the country, however, people starting banging their pans in a form of protest against the interview, known as ‘Panelaço’.
The Panelaço protest strategy was used several times last year when suspended President Dilma Rousseff spoke on national TV.
In cities like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, Salvador and Porto Alegre, hundreds went to their balconies or windows and banged pans and shouted phrases like ‘out Temer’ and ‘coup leader’. On the streets, many honked their car horns to show discontentment with political turn of events.
During the interview to TV Globo’s Fantastico program, the interim president tried to subdue criticism of not having appointed any women to his cabinet. Temer stated that at least four women would be at hand to help govern the country, including heading the secretaries of Women, Culture, Science and Technology, and Racial Equality/Human Rights.
Temer also stated that re-election in 2018 was not in his plans. According to the interim president, by not seeking a future mandate he would be freer to make ‘tough’ decisions. “I may even be unpopular, as long as it brings benefits to the country,” he told the interviewer.
Michel Temer was named interim President of Brazil last week after a Senate vote approved the start of an impeachment trial against elected President Dilma Rousseff and suspended her for up to 180 days, during the course of the trial. Rousseff has been accused of mismanagement of funds and trying to cover up budget deficits by securing huge loans from state-run banks.