Spotlight Brazil Elections

September 30, 2014

Ricardo Sennes – Atlantic Council, 09/30/2014

Brazilians go to the polls on October 5 in the first round of voting for presidential, congressional, and state elections. If no presidential candidate secures 50 percent of the vote, a runoff election will be held on October 26. The upcoming elections are likely to bring major changes at the national level—though incumbent governors are largely poised to claim victory at the state level—that could significantly alter the course of Brazil’s domestic and international policies.

After five presidential election cycles, the see-saw rivalry between the coalition led by the Workers’ Party (PT) and the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) seems to have come to an end. Following the tragic death of Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate Eduardo Campos on August 13, his running mate, Marina Silva, now heads the ballot, with a stunning turnaround in voters’ intentions. Aécio Neves, the PSDB candidate, seems poised to take third place.

In just two weeks, the PSB ticket saw first-round support increase from 9 percent before Eduardo Campos’ death to 34 percent. As of September 23, IBOPE polls indicate Marina and President Dilma Rousseff (PT) are neck and neck in the second round with 41 percent each. As former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) summed up, the death of Eduardo Campos ended one election and the entrance of Marina Silva marked the start of a new one.

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Rousseff Ahead, LGBT Rights in Focus in Brazil Election

September 30, 2014

Geoffrey Ramsey – Pan American Post, 09/30/2014

It appears that the Brazil observers who stuck with President Dilma Rousseff as the favorite to win the upcoming elections — despite Marina Silva’s rise in the polls — may turn out to be right in the end. Recent surveys have shown the incumbent making a rebound head of this weekend’s first round vote, and suggest she will come out ahead of Silva in a likely second-round matchup.

On Friday, Datafolha released a new survey showing that support for the president in the first round had risen from to 40 percent from 37 percent a week earlier, while Silva’s first-round support fell to 27 percent from 30 percent.  In a second round, Datafolha showed 47 percent for Rousseff and 43 for Silva.

Other, smaller pollsters have published figures that seem to support this trend to varying degrees, as Reuters reports. On Monday, polling firm MDA released a survey suggesting that the president would win a runoff with 47.7 percent of the votes, compared to 38.7 percent for Silva. Another survey, by Vox Populi, showed Rousseff beating Silva 46 to 39 percent in a runoff.

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Can Election Put Brazil Back on Path to Fast Growth?

September 30, 2014

Paulo Trevisani – The Wall Street Journal, 09/30/2014

Brazilians face many options in the Oct. 5 vote, but for economists and investors the options are clear: It is reform or die.

Latin America’s largest economy has weakened in the past four years and now growth is near zero, inflation is high and business confidence is depressed. Central-bank interventions keep the currency from a free fall.

But with unemployment low and many voters satisfied with greatly expanded welfare programs, incumbent President Dilma Rousseff may well end up getting a second term.

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Brazil’s Rousseff extends lead over Silva in election poll

September 30, 2014

Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 09/29/2014

President Dilma Rousseff’s expected victory margin over closest rival Marina Silva has surged to 9 percentage points in a second-round runoff in Brazil’s presidential election, an opinion poll showed on Monday, causing stocks and the real currency to tumble.

Rousseff would win the runoff with 47.7 percent of the votes against 38.7 percent for Silva, polling firm MDA said, widening her lead from the one-point advantage she had in the previous survey by the firm last week.

Another survey released later on Monday by the Vox Populi polling firm showed Rousseff with a seven-point lead over Silva in a runoff, unchanged from a week earlier.

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Brazil President Rousseff Leads in Latest Poll

September 30, 2014

Paul Kiernan and Luciana Magalhaes, The Wall Street Journal, 09/29/2014

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s chances of re-election strengthened in one poll Monday that showed the incumbent opening up a nine-point lead over her main rival in a likely second-round runoff.

Ms. Rousseff would garner 47.7% of the votes in a two-way runoff against challenger Marina Silva, according to the poll commissioned by the MDA polling company for Brazil’s National Confederation of Transport. Ms. Silva would receive 38.7% of votes if the runoff, scheduled for Oct. 26, were held today.

Brazil’s benchmark Ibovespa stocks index plunged 4.5% on Monday, with shares of the company’s flagship oil company, Petrobras, down 11%. The Brazilian real has weakened to around 2.45 per dollar from 2.24 in early September, when Ms. Silva was leading in the polls.

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Brazil in narrow presidential race as Silva captures imagination

September 30, 2014

Wyre Davies – BBC News, 09/28/2014

It boasts the world’s seventh largest economy but Brazilian society is still deeply divided and unequal.

Racism and corruption are still rife yet a mixed-race woman, born into almost absolute poverty in the jungle interior, could soon be elected to lead this country of 200 million people.

Marina Silva is certainly an enigma. The slight, almost frail, former environmental campaigner is adored by the foreign media and by those who relish the prospect of a genuinely “green” president in Brazil.

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Brazilian Stocks, Currency Plummet as Presidential Election Looms

September 30, 2014

Jeffrey T. Lewis and James Ramage – The Wall Street Journal, 09/29/2014

Brazil’s stock market and currency were sent reeling Monday by signs President Dilma Rousseff is pulling ahead of her main challenger in the country’s presidential election next month.

The Brazilian real weakened to its lowest level against the dollar in nearly six years Monday, declining 2.4% to 2.4777 reais, before paring losses to 2.4543 reais later in the day. The country’s benchmark Ibovespa stock index fell as much as 5% in early trading and was down 2.2% early in the afternoon.

Brazil’s losses were among the worst in a broad selloff that hit financial markets across the developing world. Developing economies have been caught up in fears the Federal Reserve is moving closer to raising interest rates, a move that would make higher-yielding currencies, such as those in emerging markets, less attractive to investors. Concerns about protests in Hong Kong have also sent investors into less-risky assets.

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