Andres Oppenheimer: Brazilian election could help end country’s ‘paralysis’

September 19, 2014

Andres Oppenheimer – Miami Herald, 9/17/2014

Former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso confirmed this week something that many of us have suspected: If the opposition wins the Oct. 5 presidential election, there will be changes in Brazilian foreign policy that might affect all of Latin America.

Cardoso, who modernized Latin America’s biggest economy during his two terms from 1995 to 2003 and remains one of Brazil’s most respected politicians, told me in an interview that if opposition candidate Marina Silva wins, she would not give her unconditional support to Venezuela, Argentina and other leftist populist governments, as current President Dilma Rousseff has done.

According to the latest polls, no candidate is likely to win in the first round of voting. In a second round, scheduled for Oct. 26, Socialist Party candidate Silva would have 47 percent of the vote, while Rousseff, of the ruling Workers’ Party, would get 43 percent, according to an Ibope poll released Wednesday.

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Brazil’s Real Drops to Seven-Month Low as Silva’s Support Falls

September 19, 2014

Paula Sambo – Bloomberg, 9/19/2014

Brazil’s real fell to a seven-month low as a voter poll showed a drop in voter support for Marina Silva as President Dilma Rousseff defended her economic and fiscal policies before the October election.

The real dropped 0.4 percent to 2.3732 per U.S. dollar at 2:36 p.m. in Sao Paulo, extending this week’s decline to 1.5 percent, the biggest among 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg. Swap rates, a gauge of expectations for changes in borrowing costs, increased seven basis points, or 0.07 percentage point, to 11.70 percent on the contract due in January 2016 as a report showed inflation accelerated. They were up nine basis points since Sept. 12.

“Markets are not pleased with Rousseff gaining support,” Joao Paulo de Gracia Correa, a trader at Correparti Corretora de Cambio in Curitiba, Brazil, said in a telephone interview.

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Could Brazil Have The First ‘Green’ President Of A Major Economy?

September 19, 2014

Lourdes Garcia-Navarro – NPR, 9/18/2014

Marina Silva, Brazil’s former environment minister, tells a story about when she had her environmental awakening. She was young, the daughter of poor rubber tappers, living in an isolated community in the Amazon with seven siblings. Suddenly, building crews showed up outside her door, paving a road in the middle of the forest.

The men didn’t only bring a means of transport to the outside world — they also brought a malaria epidemic that killed two of her sisters and two other relatives.

“It made me write on my own flesh the consequences of what it meant to mess around with nature without giving the slightest attention to the need to look after it,” she told The Guardian in 2008.

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Brazil’s Marina Silva wants better US ties

September 18, 2014

Associated Press – The Independent, 09/17/2014

Marina Silva, a front-running presidential candidate who grew up in the Amazon jungle and could become the first black to lead Brazil’s government, said Wednesday that if elected she’ll improve ties with the U.S. and strongly push for human rights in nations like Cuba.

She spoke exclusively to The Associated Press in her first interview with a foreign media outlet since being thrust into Brazil’s presidential campaign after her Socialist Party’s original candidate died in an Aug. 13 plane crash.

Silva, a former Amazon activist, senator and environment minister who pushed policies that helped Brazil slash the rate at which it was destroying the jungle, has found herself at the center of a suddenly hot presidential race pitting her against President Dilma Rousseff, with whom she’s running in a dead heat in the latest polls. The incumbent represents the Workers Party, which Silva helped found three decades ago.

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Countdown begins for Brazil elections

September 18, 2014

CCTV America, 09/17/2014

It’s down to the wire in next month’s presidential election in Brazil. Incumbent Dilma Rousseff is battling her main rival Marina Silva. For the third time, the candidates appeared in a televised debate. As CCTV America’s Paulo Cabral reports from Sao Paulo, they know the slightest misstep could make a huge difference in what’s expected to be a close election.

The third televised debate was organized by Brazil’s Catholic Church. Clergymen and journalists from religious media asked the questions. And while the questioners were different, the main issues were not. As they did in the previous debates, the candidates talked about health, poverty, the economy and political reform.

President Dilma Rousseff stayed on message,focusing on her government’s accomplishments. Her main challenger is socialist candidate Marina Silva. Polls show the two women will likely square off in second round runoff in a race that’s too close to call.

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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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Rousseff Loses Support in Brazil Vote Still Too Close to Call

September 18, 2014

Anna Edgerton – Bloomberg, 09/16/2014

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff lost voter support in an Ibope poll that shows a runoff against Marina Silva is still too close to call ahead of October elections. Third-place candidate Aecio Neves’s backing grew.

Rousseff would win 36 percent of voter support in the first round, with 30 percent for Silva and 19 percent for Neves, according to today’s poll, published on Jornal Nacional television. No candidate has enough backing to avoid a runoff, which occurs when the leader in the Oct. 5 first round fails to garner more votes than all other candidates combined. The results compare with 39 percent for Rousseff, 31 percent for Silva and 15 percent for Neves in a Sept. 12 Ibope poll.

Brazilian stocks have rallied this week on signs that Silva is competitive in the election. The Ibovespa stock index dropped 6.2 percent last week, the most since May 2012, when polls showed Silva lost her lead to the incumbent.

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