Brazil candidates engage in verbal sparring in TV debate

August 27, 2014

Wyre Davies – BBC News, 8/27/2014

The first of Brazil’s televised presidential debates has taken place just two weeks after the death of one of the leading candidates in October’s election, Eduardo Campos.

His replacement, internationally renowned environmentalist Marina Silva, is already challenging incumbent Dilma Rousseff according to opinion polls.

Just two weeks ago, Ms Rousseff seemed to be coasting, almost sleepwalking towards another four-year term as president of Brazil.

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Dilma Rousseff and Marina Silva in ‘weak’ Brazil TV debate stalemate

August 27, 2014

Donna Bowater – The Telegraph, 8/27/2014

The first televised debate between Brazil’s presidential candidates ended without a clear winner in an exchange that was criticised for lacking substance.

Seven candidates including incumbent President Dilma Rousseff took part in the three-hour debate broadcast overnight in the run-up to the election on October 5.

The contest had been widely anticipated after the death of the third favourite Eduardo Campos, leader of the Brazilian Socialist Party, who was killed in a plane crash two weeks ago.

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Brazil’s presidential campaign

August 22, 2014

The Economist (print edition), 8/23/2014

IN HIS presidential bid Eduardo Campos, the former governor of Pernambuco, set out to break the mould of Brazilian politics, polarised between the ruling left-wing Workers’ Party (PT) of President Dilma Rousseff and the centre-right Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB), the main opposition. By cruel irony, Mr Campos’s untimely death in a plane crash on August 13th may have improved the chances of a “third way” in October’s election.

A poll by Datafolha taken after the tragedy and published on August 18th gave Mr Campos’s running-mate, Marina Silva, more than double his most recent showing (see chart). On August 20th Campos’s centrist Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) duly blessed Ms Silva as his replacement, naming Beto Albuquerque, one of its congressmen, as her running mate.

Ms Silva is better known than Mr Campos was, thanks to her run at the presidency as a protest candidate in 2010, when she came third with nearly 20m votes. A daughter of poor rubber-tappers in the Amazon region, she is a founder of Brazil’s environmental movement as well as of the PT. She served as environment minister under Ms Rousseff’s predecessor and mentor, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, until resigning in 2008 over ungreen development projects pursued by other ministries.

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Silva surges in Brazil election poll, runoff looks certain

August 19, 2014

Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 8/19/2014

Marina Silva’s entry into Brazil’s presidential race will almost certainly force the October election into a second-round runoff and the environmentalist could even unseat President Dilma Rousseff, according to a poll released on Monday.

It showed Silva with the support of 21 percent of voters, almost three times more than center-left candidate Eduardo Campos, who she is poised to replace on the Brazilian Socialist Party’s ticket after his death last week in a plane crash.

Support for Rousseff in the survey by polling firm Datafolha was unchanged from last month at 36 percent and remained at 20 percent for centrist and market favorite Aecio Neves, showing that Silva’s surge came among voters who were previously undecided.

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Brazil: Losing Young Voters

August 12, 2014

Anjalee Khemlani – Latin Post, 8/10/2014

Brazil is seeing the lowest population of registered teen voters for the upcoming October election, according to reports.

La Terra cited a local newspaper reported that the number of voters has fallen by one-third since the last election and has reached numbers as low as 2002.

In Brazil, the legal age to vote is 18, but 16- and 17-year-olds are allowed to vote as well. And about 60 percent of young voters don’t align with any political party. Mayoral elections have a higher voter turnout, about 43 percent, but state and national elections are less than that.

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Brazil’s Neves vows to reduce inflation to target center

August 12, 2014

Reuters, 8/12/2014

Brazilian opposition candidate Aecio Neves said on Monday that if elected president he would adopt policies aimed at bringing the inflation rate back to the center of an official target range of 4.5 percent by the end of the four-year presidency.

President Dilma Rousseff’s management of the economy has come under heavy criticism ahead of the election on Oct. 5, but while leading opinion polls show Neves narrowing the gap they still point toward a victory for the incumbent.

Neves said in an interview with GloboNews TV that he would do what is necessary to keep prices in check. The centrist senator also said that he would also seek to lower the target range for inflation.

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Rivlin apologizes to Brazil over ‘diplomatic dwarf’ remarks

August 12, 2014

Greer Fay Cashman – The Jerusalem Post, 8/12/2014

In a rare turnabout, the president of the State of Israel stepped up to the plate to apologize for an insulting remark made about another country by an official of Israel’s Foreign Ministry.

It’s usually spokesman Yigal Palmor who has to soothe ruffled feathers, but this week President Reuven Rivlin applied himself to the task in relation to something Palmor had said about Brazil.

Following criticism by Brazil’s Foreign Ministry of what it considered to be Israel’s disproportionate military operation in Gaza, Palmor called Brazil a diplomatic dwarf.

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