Brazil Hosts Third Presidential TV Debate as Election Nears

September 18, 2014

Telesur, 09/17/2014

Brazil’s third televised presidential debate was held Tuesday night, as the candidates seek to win over voters ahead of the October 5 general election.

Eight candidates took part but Dilma Rousseff, Marina Silva and Aecio Neves were in the spotlight, as the three candidates leading the polls. Current president, and Workers Party (PT) candidate, Dilma Rousseff is ahead in the polls but the race is likely to go to a second round. The main issues debated were health, poverty, corruption, political reform and economic policies.

Marina Silva, Rousseff’s main rival, said on several occasions that her government would be made up of “the best people” from all parties. President Rousseff  rejected Silva’s proposals and warned that was a recipe for “powerful people (to) rule from behind the scenes.”

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Brazil’s Neves – An insider in an election about change

September 16, 2014

Caroline Stauffer and Brian Winter – Reuters, 09/16/2014

The handsome, accomplished grandson of one of Brazil’s most beloved politicians, Aecio Neves has been preparing his whole life to be president, friends say.

“Aecio grew up in a political cradle,” said one of his longest-serving advisers, Danilo de Castro.

And that, paradoxically, best explains why he’s languishing in Brazil’s presidential election race. Neves, 54, has tumbled into a distant third place in polls over the past month as voters who are tired of President Dilma Rousseff’s leftist government embrace a candidate who more obviously represents change and a break with Brazil’s political establishment – environmentalist Marina Silva.

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Challenger Upends Brazilian Race for Presidency

September 16, 2014

Simon Romero – The New York Times, 09/15/2014

When Dilma Rousseff and Marina Silva were both cabinet ministers, they clashed on everything from building nuclear power plants to licensing huge dams in the Amazon.

Ms. Rousseff came out on top, emerging as the political heir to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and ultimately succeeding him as president. But she now finds herself locked in a heated race with Ms. Silva, an environmental icon who is jockeying for the lead in polling ahead of the Oct. 5 election as an insurgent candidate repudiating the power structure she helped assemble.

Ms. Silva’s upending of the presidential race is a symbol of the antiestablishment sentiment that has roiled Brazil, including anxiety over a sluggish economy and fatigue with political corruption. Her rising popularity also taps into shifts in society like the rising clout of evangelical Christian voters and a growing disquiet with policies that have raised incomes while doing little to improve the quality of life in Brazilian cities.

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Geopolitics: Brazil’s election race heads for a tight finish

September 15, 2014

Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva – Geopolitical Information Service, 09/15/2014

Brazil is heading for its most unpredictable presidential election in the last 25 years. The election, on October 5, 2014, could see a run-off on October 26 between two candidates, likely to be Brazil’s current President Dilma Rousseff and challenger Marina Silva. The second round is between the two candidates with the most votes if neither of them gets more than half of the valid ballots in the first round. Dilma Rousseff, 66, who represents the PT (the Workers Party), was Brazil’s first woman president when elected in 2011. She is seeking re-election, and her main challenger is Marina Silva, 56, of the PSB (the Socialist Party of Brazil). Ms Silva is an environmental activist and a former senator and minister.

The third candidate, Aecio Neves, 54, of the PSDB (the Social Democratic Party of Brazil), was governor of Minas Gerais for seven years until 2010. He has seen his chances of reaching the run-off all but disappear during September.

Carlos Eduardo Lins da Silva is a Global Fellow with the Wilson Center’s Brazil Institute.

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Brazil soccer field harnesses player-power

September 11, 2014

The Associated Press - CBS News, 09/11/2014

Kids streaking back and forth on a soccer field in scorching tropical heat promises to produce something more than buckets of sweat.

Billed as Brazil’s first player-powered soccer pitch, a field inaugurated Wednesday in a Rio de Janeiro slum harnesses the kinetic energy of players’ movements to provide nighttime illumination. Soccer legend Pele was on hand for the pomp-filled event in the Morro da Mineira slum, which saw a local youth team put the system to the test.

Under the project, sponsored by Royal Dutch Shell, around 200 energy-capturing tiles developed by British startup Pavegen were installed the width and breadth of the field and covered by a layer of AstroTurf. Working in conjunction with solar panels also installed around the field, the player-powered tiles feed electricity to a system of floodlights overhead.

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FGV/IBRE publishes labor market indicators

September 11, 2014

FGV News, 09/10/2014

The Leading Indicator of Employment (LIEmp) by the Brazilian Institute of Economics (FGV/IBRE) decreased 1.2% in August 2014 compared to the previous month, reaching 73.6 points, its lowest level since May 2009 – considering seasonally adjusted data. This is the sixth consecutive decline of the index, showing the continued deceleration trend of the hiring pace for the third quarter.

According to the researcher of FGV/IBRE, Fernando Holanda Barbosa Filho, “the decreases accumulated since March for the LIEmp reinforce the deceleration observed in the generation of jobs in the Brazilian labor market”. He stated that “the index is in line with the low job creation, as evidenced by the Monthly Employment Survey of the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (PME/IBGE), and the creation of new formal jobs, as shown by the indicators of the General Register of Employed and Unemployed of the Ministry of Labor and Employment (CAGED/MTE)”. Also according to Fernando, the results also indicate that this slowing trend should continue in the coming months.

The Leading Indicator of Unemployment (CIU), also calculated by FGV/IBRE, recorded the fifth consecutive increase when it changed 5.8% between July and August 2014, considering data free of seasonal influences. This was the greatest change since July 2013 (7.1%). The result shows that, in the perception of consumers, labor market conditions have worsened during the month of August.

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A Presidential Protest Vote in Brazil?

September 11, 2014

Danielle Renwick – Council on Foreign Relations, 09/10/2014

Brazil’s latest opinion surveys show President Dilma Rousseff and Socialist Party candidate Marina Silva tied in the first round of presidential election voting, on October 5, and place Silva ahead of Rousseff in the second round. Silva seems to be raising hopes that she can more effectively respond to rising criticism about public services, corruption, and inequality, says expert Matias Spektor. Whomever is elected president, he says, will likely continue to rein back Brazil’s ambitious foreign policy as charted by Rousseff’s predecessor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva.

Polls show President Dilma Rousseff and challenger Marina Silva tied in their bids for president. What are the differences in their campaign platforms?

There is a sense that Marina will try to respond to the demands that came about with the protests in June last year. These demands are relatively broad and do not refer to Brazil’s economic performance even [though] this month we’ve entered a recession.

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