19 March 2016 Current Affairs: Brazilians have protested in several cities against President Dilma Rousseff after she named her predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Chief of Staff.In the capital Brasilia, riot police fired pepper spray at protesters outside the presidential palace.Lula is currently being investigated in a major corruption scandal.Brazil’s leader, who is herself facing impeachment proceedings, defended the appointment. She said Lula was a “skillful political negotiator” and experienced leader who would help kick off economic recovery.Lula was briefly detained and questioned earlier this month over allegations of money laundering connected to Operation Car Wash, a massive investigation into corruption at the state oil giant, Petrobras.He denies the allegations, saying they are aimed at preventing him from running for president again in 2018.The two politicians have been close for decades – Lula was Ms Rousseff’s political mentor and she is his hand-picked successor. During his time in office, the Brazilian economy experienced unprecedented economic growth and wealth redistribution.In 1980 he founded the Workers’ Party (PT), the first major socialist party in Brazil’s historyElected president in 2002 at the fourth attempt and went on to serve two terms.Pumped billions of dollars into social programmes such as Bolsa Familia that benefited tens of millions of Brazilians.
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