Rousseff, rivals change tack in Brazil’s reshaped election

August 22, 2014

Brian Winter and Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 8/21/2014

When Brazil’s notoriously private President Dilma Rousseff showed up in her kitchen cooking pasta in a campaign TV ad this week, it was one of the clearest signs yet that the country’s October election is up for grabs.

Rousseff and other candidates are shifting strategies and showing rarely seen sides of their personalities in what suddenly looks like a tight three-way race following this week’s late entry of popular environmentalist Marina Silva.

Popular with young voters for her authenticity and tough stance on corruption, Silva joined the field following the death of her party’s previous candidate in a plane crash.

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Silva Economy Adviser Warns Against Brazil Currency Intervention

August 20, 2014

Paula Sambo – Bloomberg, 8/19/2014

Policies to control inflation with a stronger real pose a threat to Brazil’s economy, Eduardo Giannetti, who is economic adviser to potential presidential candidate Marina Silva, said.

“The currency intervention in Dilma’s government was to contain domestic prices,” he said today at an event in Sao Paulo about the administration of Dilma Rousseff, cautioning that he was speaking on his own accord and not as Silva’s adviser. “That is an action that generates distortions and is a worrying framework for the country.”

Silva, 56, became the wild card in Brazilian politics after her running mate, presidential candidate Eduardo Campos, died in a plane crash last week. She replaced Senator Aecio Neves as second in polling for the Oct. 5 vote and is statistically tied with Rousseff in a possible runoff, according to public opinion research company Datafolha.

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Lula urges Brazilians to give Rousseff a second term

August 19, 2014

Fox News Latino, 8/19/2014

Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, one of Brazil’s most popular politicians, came all-out Tuesday in favor of the campaign to reelect his successor, Dilma Rousseff, assuring voters they can support her without qualms.

With the campaigns for the Oct. 5 elections starting Tuesday on television, the ideal medium for getting political messages across in Brazil, Lula burst onto the small screen with a powerful message in favor of a second four-year term for his political protege.

“Everyone knows that my second term was better than the first” and “that’s how it will be with Dilma,” Lula said, appealing to what Brazilians remember about his 2003-2011 tenure.

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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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The 2014 Brazilian Elections: The current situation

August 19, 2014

Juliana Moraes-Pinheiro – Council on Hemispheric Affairs, 8/18/2014

The 2014 Brazilian elections have demonstrated a series of extraordinary events. Since the end of the authoritarian military dictatorship almost 30 years ago, ordinary Brazilians have increasingly participated in the country’s democratic political process. The practice of politicians “buying votes” with the help of blackmail, along with false promises has become increasingly rare as Brazilians are better informed about their candidates and less skeptical about the country’s electoral system. It is not as easy to manufacture political support as it was in the past.

While Brazil has many political parties, two parties in particular have come to dominate the Brazilian political stage – one leaning left while the other leans to the right. Americans will find this scenario all too familiar, as in the United States; only the two main parties have been able to vie for higher political positions. This bipolar arrangement makes consensus difficult within Brazil’s governing institutions. In this election, a center-left party, the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), was ahead by 9% in recent polls. However, with the death of its presidential candidate, Eduardo Campos, in a tragic plane crash, the hopes for change has become far out of reach.

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Brazil’s Eduardo Campos: in his own words

August 14, 2014

Jonathan Wheatley – Financial Times, 8/14/2014

Eduardo Campos, the Brazilian presidential candidate killed in an air crash on Wednesday, paid a visit to the FT in London at the end of last year. He met the editor and a dozen other journalists and left an impression of a man who had a clear view of the challenges facing Brazil and of the means to tackle them. In that respect, he was a rarity among Brazilian politicians. He will be sorely missed.

At the start of that meeting, hearts on the journalists’ side of the table began to sink. Campos seemed to be spouting the usual platitudes about a need to renovate institutions and for a new cycle of sustainable development. But then he began to surprise.

Brazil, he said, had so much potential but enacting the measures to help it be realised had consistently been put off. “No thought is given to the long term. But it is time to think about whether we want a more just society.”

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Brazil’s Petrobras: Tarred by corruption

August 11, 2014

Joe Leahy and Samantha Pearson – Financial Times, 8/10/2014

After years of allegedly secret dealings, the men at the centre of what is potentially Brazil’s biggest corruption case made a careless mistake.

In May 2013, convicted black market money dealer Alberto Youssef bought through third parties a luxury car for his friend and alleged accomplice, Paulo Roberto Costa, a former executive at state-oil company Petrobras.

But while negotiating the purchase of the R$250,000 ($110,000) Range Rover Evoque in São Paulo, they put their names together on a seemingly harm­less document: a proof of ad­dress. It was the only occasion in the mountains of police investigation documents seen by the Financial Times they voluntarily appeared together.

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Brazil’s Bankers Mute After Santander Apology to Rousseff

July 31, 2014

Cristiane Lucchesi, Ney Hayashi and Francisco Marcelino – Bloomberg, 7/29/2014

With Brazil’s stocks rallying every time President Dilma Rousseff slides in the polls, the October election is all the market is talking about — behind closed doors, that is.

Representatives of six Brazilian and foreign banks, brokerages and funds said they’re no longer willing to comment publicly about politics, with some citing the risk of government retaliation. All of them asked that their identities and the names of their firms not be revealed.

Banco Santander Brasil SA’s public apology last week for saying the economy could worsen if Rousseff’s chances at re-election improve triggered private discussions inside at least two major banks over what their analysts should be allowed to say, according to two of the people with direct knowledge of the matter. Rousseff told journalists on July 28 that Brazil shouldn’t “accept any level of institutional interference from any member of the financial system in electoral and political activity.”

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Banco Santander’s Brazil Unit Fires Analyst, Others After Political Comment

July 31, 2014

Rogerio Jelmayer and Luciana Magalhaes – The Wall Street Journal, 7/29/2014

The Brazilian unit of Banco Santander SA has fired an analyst and other employees involved in the publication of a client note critical of President Dilma Rousseff’s economic policies.

Bank Chairman Emilio Botín told reporters on Tuesday in Rio de Janeiro that the analyst who wrote the report was fired. An undisclosed number of additional bank employees involved with the publication were dismissed as well, according to a person familiar with the bank’s decision making who declined to be identified. None of the fired employees has been identified.

The Santander report, dubbed “You and Your Money,” sparked an uproar from Ms. Rousseff’s Workers Party when it became public last week. Mailed with bank statements to some of the bank’s wealthy Brazilian clients, it said that recent gains in the Brazilian stock market would likely fizzle if Ms. Rousseff, who is running for re-election in October, gained ground in public-opinion polls.

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Brazilians likely to give government a ‘pass’ over World Cup

July 14, 2014

Larisa Epatko – PBS Newshour, 7/11/2014

The FIFA World Cup, which ends Sunday, has been a rollercoaster ride for Brazilians and no less so for the government.

When Brazil was playing well and advancing, President Dilma Rousseff rode the wave, visibly supporting the team and the tournament.

After Brazilian soccer star — known to fans simply by his first name Neymar — hurt his back during a match, taking him out of the rest of the tournament, Rousseff called him a “warrior” in a public letter of encouragement.

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