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Big Brazilian rally seeks direct voting for president

More than 1 million people took to the streets of Sao Paulo Monday night in Brazil's biggest demonstration for more than 20 years to demand the right to vote for the country's next president.

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The rally was the latest in a series mounted by opposition parties in the run-up to a congressional vote April 25 on a constitutional amendment to allow the next president to be chosen directly by the people.

But even as the crowds gathered, the government moved to defuse the campaign by offering its own amendment that would restore direct voting in November of 1988.

The crowd at Monday's rally was estimated at 1.7 million by organizers and at 1.3 million by the police.

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