Brazil's suspended president Dilma Rousseff said she would call a referendum on holding early elections if she is reinstated as president, an offer analysts saw as a bid to sway undecided senators to help clear her in an impeachment trial.
If Rousseff survives the Senate trial, expected to conclude in August, the Constitution would provide for her to serve out her term until 2018, although she would be scarred and in a weak position to govern.
Rousseff's proposal for early elections, which emerged on Thursday, is seen by many political analysts as a way out of Brazil's political crisis because it would subject a political class tainted by scandal to a popular vote.
Rousseff's supporters have questioned the legitimacy of an interim government led by her Vice President Michel Temer, which is governing while she is suspended for the duration of the trial.
Protesters took to the streets of several cities in Brazil late on Friday in the first widespread organized demonstration against Temer. There were no official estimates regarding the number of people in the protests.
Most participants were from leftist parties or from movements such as the landless rural workers. Former president Lula da Silva took part in one of the protests, in Sao Paulo. He called on Temer to step down.
Temer, as a constitutional lawyer you know that what you did was not right. Give the power back to the people and to Dilma and try to gain the Presidency in the next election, he said.
Lula also criticized the anti-corruption investigations against him and said that if he felt provoked, he could decide to run for President in 2018. He has strongly denied any wrongdoing.