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Rousseff sets agenda for next 4 years
October 27, 2014, 7:45 am

Brazil's President and presidential candidate of the Workers Party Dilma Rousseff addresses a rally in Brasilia Oct. 26, 2014 [Xinhua]

Brazil’s President and presidential candidate of the Workers Party Dilma Rousseff addresses a rally in Brasilia Oct. 26, 2014 [Xinhua]

After winning a second term in Sunday’s election, leftist President Dilma Rousseff on Sunday called for national unity and vowed to reinvigorate the country’s flagging economy during her second term.

“I call on all Brazilians without exception to unite for the future of the country,” she told supporters in a victory speech in Brasilia after defeating pro-business rival Aecio Neves.

“I want to be a much better president than I have been until now. I am open to dialogue and this is the first commitment of my new office,” Rousseff said.

Rousseff’s victory means another four years in power for the Workers’ Party, which has held power for 12 years and leveraged an economic growth to expand social welfare programs and lift more than 40 million from poverty in Latin America’s most populous country.

Incidentally, 2014 marks ten years since Brazil introduced the critical Bolsa Familia anti-poverty plan.

“Some words dominated this campaign. The most frequently uttered was change. The most common theme was reform,” she said. “I have been reelected president to make the major changes Brazilians are demanding.”

Rousseff said her top priority would be political reform, and also vowed to crack down on corruption and end impunity with stricter legislation.

Earlier this year, Rousseff sent Congress reform proposals asking the Congress to hold a non-binding national vote, or plebiscite, to see what Brazilians want changed.

“My commitment as evidenced throughout this campaign is to ignite political reform through a referendum.An instrument of this query is the Plebiscite. Let’s get ahead with this policy reform,” Rousseff said on Sunday after announcement of the results.

“Brazil your daughter will not flee the fighting. Viva Brazil!” the President tweeted.

Faced with an underwhelming performance in recent years of the Brazilian economy, the world’s seventh largest, the president vowed to take special moves to boost her country’s economic recovery.

Rousseff said the government would work towards ensuring high levels of employment and the recovery of wages and fight inflation.

“We will give more impetus to economic activity in all sectors, and particularly in the industrial sector,” added the president.

Rousseff secured 51.64 per cent of the vote to 48.36 per cent for centrist Aecio Neves.

Sunday’s mandate for Rousseff also reflects that a majority of Brazilian voters were satisfied with the government’s battle to achieve more inclusive growth and to drive down poverty.

Over the past two decades poverty has fallen and income distribution has become less skewed.

Brazil has also managed to reduce child mortality and improve education standards before the deadline established by the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Rousseff announced these achievements at the 69th session of the UN General Assembly last month.

“Brazil jumped from being the 13th to being the seventh largest economy in the world. Per capita income increased by more than threefold and inequality rates fell sharply,” Rousseff said. “While in 2002, more than half the Brazilian population was poor or below the poverty line, today three out of every four Brazilians are part of the middle class and upper income ranges.”

 

 TBP and Agencies

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