July 27-Aug 1

Aecio Dilma

Aécio Neves and Dilma Rousseff shake hands in December of 2013

Brazil’s Lula Campaigns for Chosen Heir, Legacy

Rogerio Jelmayer and Reed Johnson – The Wall Street Journal, 7/27/2014

PRAIA GRANDE, Brazil— Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva acts like a man on the campaign trail.

For the past few months, Brazil’s former leader has crisscrossed the country, pressing hands, posing for photos and boasting of his past accomplishments ahead of the nation’s October presidential elections. In Praia Grande he addressed a congress of chemical and pharmaceutical workers.

Brazil’s election: is it really the economy, stupid?

Jonathan Wheatley – Financial Times, 7/28/2014

How much lower can it go? The consensus on Brazil’s economic growth this year has been revised downwards for nine successive weeks, according to the central bank’s latest survey of market economists, and now stands at a meagre 0.9 per cent.

The consensus on growth next year is not much better, at 1.5 per cent. As our chart shows, estimates of growth this year (the black line) and next have been in decline for the past 12 months. (Longer, in fact. When the bank first asked economists about growth in 2014, they expected it to come in at 3.8 per cent.)

Dirty politics as usual as Brazil’s election campaigns heat up

Joe Leahy – Financial Times, 7/28/2014

Just as the campaign of Aécio Neves, the main opposition candidate in Brazil’s October presidential election, was getting under way last week, it was brought back to earth by corruption allegations over an airport.

The airstrip was built on land bought with public money from a great-uncle of Mr. Neves, candidate for the pro-business PSDB party, when he was governor of the surrounding state of Minas Gerais, the Folha de S. Paulo daily newspaper reported.

In 2014, 21 million voters will use digital fingerprints to vote [PORTUGUESE]

Folha de S. Paulo, 7/29/2014

One of the main innovations of the election this year, a biometric will be used for more than 21 million Brazilians, who will be identified by their digital fingerprint at the time of voting.

The number represents 15% of the 142,822,046 voters able to vote in 2014. A tool used to combat fraud in the election, the biometric will represent 100% of the voters in the Federal District, Alagoas, Amapá and Sergipe.

Workers’ Party boss sees Rousseff re-election despite inflation

Anthony Boadle and Jeferson Ribeiro – Reuters, 7/30/2014

High inflation should not keep Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff from getting re-elected in October because wage earners have been cushioned by social gains made during a decade of Workers’ Party rule, the party’s boss said.

“It’s better to live with somewhat higher inflation that will come down in time than to have to sacrifice your job,” Workers’ Party President Rui Falcão told Reuters on Tuesday. “There is inflation, but you have your home, your children go to university, and there is work.”

Cold discourse, hot topic [PORTUGUESE]

Iuri Dantas – Estadão, 7/31/2014

By inviting the three candidates that lead the polls in voting intentions to a hearing yesterday, the National Confederation of Industry wanted to clarify plans of President Dilma Rousseff (PT), Aécio Neves (PSDB), and Eduardo Campos (PSB) for conducting the political economy and to try to anticipate how business life will be in the coming years. The industrialists heard from all three similar diagnostics and known vaccinations and pleas from decades ago. It seems a national political consensus about how to continue forward. It isn’t.

The two opposition candidates, with savory details from side to side, tried to sell the same agenda: cut taxes and grow sales abroad. Or, in the language of a presidential campaign, to make tributary reform and negotiate commercial agreements with other countries.

Rousseff, Allies Mobilize Against Opponents of Economic Policies

Rogerio Jelmayer and Luciana Magalhaes – The Wall Street Journal, 7/31/2014

With a drumbeat of negative economic news weighing on Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s chances at a second term, her administration is testing a new strategy: shoot the messenger.

In recent days, pressure from the ruling party has resulted in the firing of a bank analyst and a court injunction against a financial research firm; both had warned clients of possible stock market declines if Ms. Rousseff is re-elected in October.

Which candidate represents you? [PORTUGUESE]

Diego Escosteguy and Aline Ribeiro – Época, 7/31/2014

The 5th of October, 2014, started early. It began in June of 2013, when the Brazilians, before going to the ballot box, first decided to cross the street. In a phenomenon as surprising and sudden as tectonic, more than a million Brazilians, spread out between 388 cities, rediscovered, after decades of lethargy, that politics is not just on election day. This doesn’t happen alone, but with the vote. It also is done with others, using their voice, their body, and their emotions shared in the crowd. The demands were various, with dispersed shouts. But the message, only one: what we have here – traditional politics – does not represent us. There were protests against anything and everything, resulted from dissatisfaction, anger, anguish, accumulated feelings from years and years. These days in June laid bare an otherwise silent crisis. There was a rupture between electorate and elected, in the essence of democracy. The day that started in June will define the elections that come to a close in October, under the banner of change for which Brazil asks.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Agência Senado.

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