25 Jun 2013

Referendum on political reform proposed in Brazil

10:27 pm on 25 June 2013

President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil has proposed a referendum on political reform, following nationwide protests.

Ms Rousseff, a guerrilla fighter during the 1960s, also pledged to invest 50 billion reais ($US25 billion) in public transport.

More than a million people have taken to the streets for more than two weeks to protest against rising costs, government corruption and the expense of the 2014 World Cup.

Ms Rousseff on Monday was meeting mayors and state governors to find a solution. Earlier, she met leaders of the group that started the street protests more than a week ago.

However, the BBC reports further demonstrations are planned on Monday. More rallies are also due to take place in the cities of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo.

The wave of rallies began in Sao Paulo, where residents were unhappy at planned rises in public transport fares and spread to more than 100 cities.

The BBC reports the increases have since been shelved, but the protests rapidly became more widespread and the demands more wide-ranging.