October 13-17

Presidential candidate Aécio Neves participates in debates held before the October 5th first round elections.

Presidential candidate Aécio Neves participates in debates held before the October 5th first round elections.

Third-placed Silva endorses Neves in Brazil election runoff

Eduardo Simões – Reuters, 10/12/2014

Business-friendly opposition candidate Aecio Neves received a crucial boost in Brazil’s presidential election race on Sunday with the endorsement of popular environmentalist Marina Silva two weeks before his runoff against incumbent Dilma Rousseff.

Silva at one point led election polls but took third place in the first round of voting last week. Her support for Neves increases the likelihood that the bulk of the 22 million people who voted for her will back him in the tight runoff.

Rousseff puts Cardoso, 83, at core of Brazil’s election battle

Brian Winter – Reuters, 10/14/2014

Under pressure in Brazil’s closest election race in decades, President Dilma Rousseff is centering her campaign around a familiar bogeyman – an 83-year-old former president associated with a more turbulent, elitist era.

In numerous TV ads and speeches, Rousseff has warned that a vote for her opponent in the Oct. 26 runoff vote, centrist Senator Aecio Neves, would mark a return to the policies seen under Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who was president from 1995 to 2002 and is from Neves’ Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB).

Brazil Vote Too Close to Call as Runoff Looms, Poll Shows

David Biller and Anna Edgerton – Bloomberg, 10/14/2014

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is statistically tied with opposition candidate Aecio Neves less than two weeks before the runoff election, according to a Vox Populi poll published yesterday.

Rousseff garnered 45 percent of support for the Oct. 26 vote, compared to 44 percent for Neves, according to the Oct. 11-12 poll of 2,000 people that has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points. A Sensus poll published Oct. 11 showed Neves with 52.4 percent support and Rousseff with 36.7 percent. The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points.

Brazil election candidates spar over corruption, nepotism

Anthony Boadle – Reuters, 10/15/2014

Brazil’s two presidential candidates traded accusations of lies, corruption and nepotism on Tuesday night in a bruising television debate that had no clear winner ahead of the hotly contested Oct. 26 election runoff. Leftist incumbent President Dilma Rousseff warned Brazilians that the election of her pro-business challenger Aecio Neves would lead to unemployment and put at risk social benefits gained under 12 years of rule by her Workers’ Party.

Neves charged that the Rousseff campaign propaganda was a pack of lies that had misinformed voters that he was planning to end cash transfer programs and privatize state banks. The senator and former state governor hammered Rousseff for allowing state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA to be allegedly used to channel money from bribes to the Workers’ Party and its allies in the governing coalition.

Why Brazil needs change: Voters should ditch Dilma Rousseff and elect Aécio Neves

The Economist Print Edition, 10/16/2014

In 2010, when Brazilians elected Dilma Rousseff as president, their country seemed at last to be living up to its huge potential. The economy expanded by 7.5% that year, setting the seal on eight years of faster growth and a steep fall in poverty under Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Ms Rousseff’s political mentor and the leader of the centre-left Workers’ Party (PT). But four years later that promise has disappeared. Under Ms Rousseff the economy has stalled and social progress has slowed. Sanctions-hit Russia aside, Brazil is by far the weakest performer in the BRIC club of big emerging economies. In June 2013 over a million Brazilians took to the streets to protest against poor public services and political corruption.

Ever since the protests the polls have shown that two-thirds of respondents want the next president to be different. So one might have expected them to turf out Ms Rousseff in the first round of the country’s presidential election on October 5th. In the event she secured 41.6% of the vote and remains the narrow favourite to win the run-off ballot on October 26th. That is mainly because most Brazilians have not yet felt the economic chill in their daily lives—though they soon will. And it is partly because her opponent, Aécio Neves of the centre-right Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB), who won 33.6%, has struggled to persuade poorer Brazilians that the reforms he espouses—which the country urgently needs—will benefit rather than harm them. If Brazil is to avoid another four years of drift, it is vital that he succeeds in doing so.

Brazil Debate Debuts Personal Barbs as Vote Nears

David Biller and Anna Edgerton – Bloomberg, 10/16/2014

Brazil’s presidential contenders engaged in personal attacks in last night’s debate as polls show President Dilma Rousseff and former Governor Aecio Neves in a dead heat nine days before voting.

Rousseff asked Neves in the televised debate whether he supports checkpoints for drunk drivers, prompting her rival to say he has apologized for not taking a sobriety test when stopped by police with an expired license. The incumbent went on to say she would never drive while intoxicated.

Dilma talks about changing Constitution and amplifying federal role in security [PORTUGUESE]

Diogenes Campanha – Folha de S. Paulo, 10/17/2014

The president and candidate for reelection, Dilma Rousseff (PT), said this Friday (17) that she was favorable to changing the Constitution so that the federal government could amplify its role in the area of public security, that according to the legislation, is the responsibility of the States.

“I consider that it is necessary to review how the attributions are articulated. Because of this, I am even proposing an alternation to the Constitution in the case of public security,” said the president, without citing the content of the changes that she aims to approve or the way that it will be done.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Aécio Neves Presidente.

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