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Brazil elections: It’s advantage Rousseff
October 1, 2014, 6:57 pm

Many of Brazil’s poor still support Rousseff and her Workers Party (PT) because of social programmes that have lifted millions from abject poverty into the middle class over the past decade [Xinhua]

Many of Brazil’s poor still support Rousseff and her Workers Party (PT) because of social programmes that have lifted millions from abject poverty into the middle class over the past decade [Xinhua]

With just three days left before the first round of Brazil’s presidential elections, new polls show President Dilma Rousseff has increased her second-round lead over her main opponent Marina Silva.

A survey from Datafolha  released late Tuesday said Rousseff would get 49% in a second, decisive round, against 41% for Marina Silva, who has been running on the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) ticket since the August death of Eduardo Campos in a plane crash.

A second poll released Tuesday by Ibope, however, showed Rousseff and Silva remaining technically tied in the second round, with 42% and 38% respectively but a 2% margin of error.

Rousseff has also widened her lead in the first round of voting, to be held on Sunday, but not yet by enough to avoid a second round, for which she would need more than 50% of the vote. The latest polls also showed the race for second place – and crucially, a slot in the head-to-head second round – narrowing between Silva and Aecio Neves, the market-friendly governor of Minas Gerais running for the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB).

According to Datafolha, Rousseff would get 40% of the vote on Sunday, with Silva attracting 25% and Neves climbing to 20% from 14% a month ago.

Support for Silva appears to be dropping as Rousseff has stepped up attacks on the environmentalist, taking advantage of considerably more TV and radio advertisement time.

“Most of Dilma’s attacks aren’t true, but most people don’t know that,” said Lucio Claudio da Souza, 49, who runs a newspaper and convenience stand in Brasilia, and said he was voting for Neves. “A candidate’s success shouldn’t be about attacking others for votes, it should be about their plans for government.”

Silva’s idealism about a “new politics,” appointing the best people as ministers regardless of their party, initially seemed to be a draw. But following attacks on her capacity to compromise and make deals, some voters said they doubt Silva’s ability to attract enough political capital within congress to be able to govern effectively, if elected.

“Getting things done doesn’t depend only on the president, but on the senate and congress too,” said Dayana Alves, 35, a pharmacist. “Presidents can’t do anything alone.”

Brazil’s markets have dropped as Rousseff’s chances of victory have risen, demonstrating the dissatisfaction those in the business world feel toward her administration and its interventionist policies.  Brazil’s economy has stagnated over the past four years, with its GDP growth rate dropping from 7.5% in 2010 to 1.% in 2012. Meanwhile, inflation has consistently hovered near the top of the government’s target range.

But many of Brazil’s poor still support Rousseff and her Workers Party (PT) because of social programmes that have lifted millions from abject poverty into the middle class over the past decade.

“I’m voting for Dilma for my mother-in-law’s sake,” said Dayane Fleury Rodrigues, 24, a shop assistant. “It’s because of the PT that she has a house.”

“The PT do the most for the poor,” she added.

 

Lucy Jordan in Brasilia, Brazil for The BRICS Post

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