Lula defends his party and Rousseff at rally

World Today

Brazil’s former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva speaks during a meeting of Social Movements for Democracy, at a camp set up by supporters of his protege, President Dilma Rousseff, in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, April 16, 2016. The lower chamber of Brazil’s Congress on Friday began a debate on whether to impeach Rousseff, a question that underscores deep polarization in Latin America’s largest country and most powerful economy. The crucial vote is slated for Sunday. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

Thousands of government supporters listened to former Brazilian president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva at a rally on Saturday in the capital Brasilia, where the lower house of Congress will decide the fate of embattled President Dilma Rousseff.

CCTV’s Paulo Cabral filed this report.

Rhetoric ramps up ahead of President Dilma Rousseff\'s impeachment vote

Rhetoric ramps up ahead of President Dilma Rousseff's impeachment vote.CCTV's Paulo Cabral filed this report.

Rousseff was widely expected to attend the pro-government rally, but instead she sent a letter explaining how she was tied up in talks aimed at securing support for Sunday’s congressional vote.

Lula insisted that the impeachment process was an attempt by the traditional ruling elite to snatch back power.

Members of social movements and unions came from all over Brazil to support President Rousseff at the rally.

During the event, they cheered for Lula – a symbol and founder of the Workers’ Party.

The supporters are camping outside the national stadium of Brasilia and were expected to protest in front of Congress on Sunday when the lower house will vote on the impeachment proceedings against Rousseff that could bring her one step closer to being ousted.

Story by the Associated Press.