Brazil Supreme Court head warns democracy 'only path'

Brasília (AFP) –


The head of Brazil's Supreme Court on Wednesday responded to calls for a military takeover made during a truckers' strike by saying that democracy is "the only legitimate path" to overcome the country's problems.

Chief Justice Carmen Lucia said at the start of a court session in Brasilia that Brazil is going through "a serious political, economic and social moment."

She spoke after the nine-day strike paralyzed Latin America's biggest economy. The strike, called to force the center-right government to cut fuel costs, brought food and fuel deliveries to a standstill nationwide.

During the strike, there were frequent calls by protesters for the military to take over the country, which faces a turbulent mix of high unemployment, systemic political corruption and the after effects of a deep two-year recession.

But Lucia said people calling for a return to the days of Brazil's 1964-1985 military dictatorship were not being realistic.

"We only have nostalgia for the good parts... in our country's history. Regimes without (civil) rights were a part of the past that we mustn't forget, even if we don't want to remember it," she said.

"Democracy is not in question."