Latin América

Dilma Rousseff  Brazil’s Presidential Favorite

By Carlos Quintanilla

According to a recent survey by the Sensus Institute published on Brazilian digital media, Worker’s Party (PT) presidential candidate, Dilma Rousseff, leads the presidential race, there.

Rousseff has 41.6 percent voter approval. Jose Serra, of the Brazilian opposition Democratic Social Party (PSDB), is in second place with 31.6 percent, followed by Marina Silva, Green Party (PV), candidate, with 8.5 percent.

Serra, 68, a former  governor of Sao Pablo state, made it to the second round of presidential elections in 2002 but was defeated by President Lula. Former environment minister Marina Silva and leftist veteran politician Plinio de Arruda Sampaio, both trail far behind in voter projections, according to O Globo Televisión.

Compared to a previous poll released a couple of months ago, Rousseff has widened her then-lead of 3.5 percent by another 6.5 percent.

A ten percent advantage, however, would not be enough for her to be declared winner in the first round of the general elections on Sunday, October 3, given the present numbers. Victory requires a simple majority of fifty percent plus one vote.

If there is no winner on that date, a run-off will be held on October 31. Rousseff, 62, has a fascinating past as a former guerrilla who was incarcerated during Brazil’s 1964-1985 military regime, and who recently beat lymphatic cancer.

She has promised to continue outgoing President Lula’s center-left government policies. According to Lula, his government has lifted 24 million people out of poverty, brought 31 million people into the middle class level, and during the 2009 economic crisis, created 1.7 million jobs.

It seems likely that Brazilians will need a run-off election to determine Lula’s successor. Lula will step down at the end of the year, having served the maximum two consecutive four-year terms permitted under the Brazilian Constitution.

Carlos Quintanilla produces  and hosts KPFK’s Spanish Language News Program “Noticiero Pacífica”, which is broadcast over 90.7 FM on Saturdays at 4:00 PM. Noticiero Pacífica is the only independent news program focusing on Latin American issues for the Los Angeles area. P. O. Box 761475, Los Angeles, CA 90076. E-mail:<>.

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