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Brazil's president announces referendum on political reform

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff met with protest leaders on Monday to discuss the last two weeks of protests and has now announced a referendum on political reform.

Brazil protests 6/2013 11Enlarge
Riot police clash with demonstrators protesting against the money spent on the Confederation Cup and next year's World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on June 16, 2013. (Tasso Marcelo/AFP/Getty Images)

SAO PAULO, Brazil — Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff met with protest leaders on Monday to discuss the last two weeks of protests and has now announced a referendum on political reform.

In a live broadcast from Brasilia, she laid out the new agreement, which includes the referendum, as well as specific items regarding healthcare, the public education system, public transportation and the fiscal responsibility of all branches of government.

Rousseff was said to be meeting leaders of the Free Fare Movement (MPL) at 1:30 p.m. and state and city authorities at 4 p.m. local time, but Al Jazeera's Gabriel Elizondo said the protesters had yet to arrive at around 2 p.m.

She said Friday that she wanted to "listen to the voices of the streets."

It was not immediately clear what results might come from the discussion between Rousseff and MPL leaders, though Goias State Governor Marconi Perillo said he wanted the meetings to result in a signed agreement between the parties. 

"I want to go to the meeting with President Dilma to sign a pact between the Union, the federated states and the municipalities for a joint action to assist Brazilians," Perillo tweeted.

More from GlobalPost: Brazilian president unveils series of reforms in attempt to end protests

The MPL brought millions of people out onto the streets in protest of Brazil's cost of public transportation.

The demonstrations, which started June 11, have since grown to include broader demands and condemnation of the quality of government services like education and healthcare, as well as of corruption in general.

Some even turned violent, with police being criticized for firing rubber bullets and tear gas at protesters and journalists. Four people have died as a result of the protests, BBC News reported

Brazilians have also shown their discontent for the cost of building stadiums and other preparations the country has undertaken, as it is due to host the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Olympics.

FIFA's Secretary General Jerome Valcke said that it has "no plan B" for next year's World Cup, adding that no other nation has offered to host the tournament.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/brazil/130624/brazils-president-meet-protest-leaders