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Brazil: Review of the second week of the Presidential race

Article by Foreign Policy Centre

July 21, 2010

Jose Serra said: “Dilma is weaker than the PT” and that, unlike Lula, she will not be able to control the more radical wing of the party. Marina Silva has directed her main criticisms of the government to President Lula, saying that there is much waste of public resources with corruption.

Dilma Rousseff is getting good and bad news. The good news is that the PP has decided to put the infrastructure of the party (5154 municipal branches, 1.2 million members, 5,135 city councilmen, 555 mayors and 96 state representatives (state and federal) available to the former minister.

On the other hand, Dilma Rousseff was fined for the fourth time by the Electoral Court. During a public event on the bullet train that will connect Rio de Janeiro-Sao Paulo-Campinas, Lula praised the former minister. The electoral Attorney General, Sandra Cureau investigates if Lula used the machinery of government in favor of Dilma. Noting that she spoke theoretically, she said that this kind of gesture could result in the forfeiture of the candidate’s registration.

A statement by the Secretary of Revenue, Otacílio Cartaxo, also had a negative impact, where he said that the employee that accessed the accounts of vice president of the PSDB, Eduardo Jorge was identified. However, Cartaxo said he could not reveal the name. The opposition had filed a claim in the House asking for the details from the finance minister, Guido Mantega, including names, dates and times and motivation.

A source of embarrassment was the fact that the federal government distributed 215,000 leaflets defending voting for women. The material contained a speech from Dilma Rousseff. Although it was developed between 2008 and 2009, the material was printed only in May this year when Dilma was already confirmed as the pre-candidate of the PT.

But there were lapses on the part of the PSDB. Indio da Costa (DEM-RJ), Serra’s running mate, was fined for campaigning before the legal deadline. He also radicalised the struggle with the PT and accused the party of links with drug trafficking and guerrillas of the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia).

Research from Datafolha and Vox Populi will be released this week, the first two since the campaign began on July 6. They will show who was more efficient until now.

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