Brazil’s 2014 election campaign gets off to early start

Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 02/22/2013

Brazil’s 2014 election season got off to an unusually early start this week with the unofficial launch of President Dilma Rousseff’s re-election campaign by her mentor and predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Celebrating his Workers’ Party’s 10th year in power, Lula laid to rest speculation that he would run again by anointing Rousseff as the party’s best option to stay in power.

The main opposition party PSDB went on the offensive and attacked the decade of Workers’ Party (PT) rule for undoing its work in laying the basis for Brazil’s financial stability under former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

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Brazil Corruption Trial Chills Lula Legacy as Party Vote Suffers

Raymond Colitt – Bloomberg, 8/1/2012

Brazil’s Supreme Court today begins hearing final arguments in a corruption case that threatens to tarnish the country’s most popular president and undermine support for the ruling Workers’ Party ahead of local elections.

After years of closed-door proceedings, justices and lawyers for the first time will publicly air charges against 38 defendants, including former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s chief of staff, accused of helping the PT embezzle public funds used to bribe lawmakers. The scandal, which led to calls for Lula’s impeachment in 2005, is known as the “mensalao,” Portuguese for the “big monthly payment” allies allegedly received in exchange for backing the government.

A former shoeshine boy, Lula oversaw Brazil’s fastest economic expansion in 25 years in 2010, capping off an eight- year presidency during which 35 million people rose out of poverty. A verdict condemning his lieutenants could diminish his legacy after he left office with an 87 percent approval rating.

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