Demonstrators seek impeachment of President Jair Bolsonaro as anger mounts over allegations of potential corruption involving a Covid-19 vaccine deal.

Protesters say Bolsonaro administration's mishandling of pandemic had gone beyond incompetence and negligence and reached the level of malfeasance.
Protesters say Bolsonaro administration's mishandling of pandemic had gone beyond incompetence and negligence and reached the level of malfeasance. (Roosevelt Cassio / Reuters)

Thousands of Brazilians have rallied for a third consecutive day of protests against President Jair Bolsonaro, amid allegations of potential corruption involving a Covid-19 vaccine deal.

Demonstrators on Saturday gathered by the hundreds or thousands in more than 40 cities to demand Bolsonaro's impeachment or greater access to vaccines against Covid-19.

The protests are the latest sign of mounting pressure on Bolsonaro, who has routinely dismissed the severity of the virus.

In Friday's decision, Supreme Court Justice Rosa Weber said the investigation is supported by recent testimony in a Senate committee investigating the government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Prosecutors will investigate whether Bolsonaro committed the crime of "prevarication," which entails delaying or refraining from action required as part of a public official's duty for reasons of personal interest.

Weber didn't rule out the possibility other potential wrongdoing could be investigated.

Bolsonaro accused of malfeasance

Bolsonaro has denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of corruption, and told reporters on June 28 he can't know what transpires within his ministries.

Still, Bolsonaro's opposition and political activists sought to drive greater turnout to the demonstrations by saying the administration's mishandling of the pandemic had gone beyond incompetence and negligence and reached the level of malfeasance.

READ MORE: Brazil senators file criminal case against Bolsonaro over vaccine deal

"We can't take it anymore, since the beginning of this denying government, they are doing things that go against science, killing more than 500-thousand Brazilians," said oil and gas worker Luciano Santos in reference to the death toll of the Covid-19 pandemic in Brazil.

Bolsonaro has waged a 15-month campaign to downplay the coronavirus and keep the economy humming.

Also, Bolsonaro spent months touting unproven drugs to treat the virus while casting doubt on the effectiveness of vaccines that his Health Ministry was slow to acquire.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies