by Mridula Tirumalasetti Impunity Watch Reporter, South America
BRASILIA, Brazil–Senator Aecio Neves has received the nomination of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, or PSDB, to run against President Dilma Rousseff in the election this October. Neves is running on a platform to reduce inflation and encourage economic growth by introducing pro-market measures and cutting public spending. In a speech at the national convention of the PSDB in Sao Paulo, Neves said “We are hostages today to the worst economic equation in emerging markets, with minimal growth and worsening inflation.” Neves also told news sources, “Our government will create a more serene and propitious climate for the market, which is important to recover investments and grow.” Neves has been known to have criticized the ruling party, the Workers Party, because of corruption and has said he would maintain the social programs in Brazil which have brought poverty down.
Rousseff was elected in October 2010 as Brazil’s first woman president. Born to a Bulgarian immigrant, Rousseff joined the underground left-wing resistance in 1964. She spent three years in jail, where she was tortured, after being arrested in 1970.
Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff pictured during a signing ceremony. (photo courtesy of UK Reuters)
Rousseff’s popularity is dropping as Brazil faces economic uncertainty, but also because of the numerous protests over the public spending for the World Cup soccer tournament and the series of scandals at the energy company Petroleo Brasileiro SA, or Petrobras, which is state-run. In addition to the labor strikes that have been ensuing, Rousseff has been the target of verbally aggressive chants coming from crowds during the World Cup. Rouseff has said that the chants did not reflect the views of the majority of Brazilians. However, there have been an increasing number of Brazilian voters who have publicly said they would never vote for Rousseff.
Although Neves promises that an adjustment will be made regarding fiscal policy, Neves does not promise an overnight remedy and has said I could take two to three years before inflation goes down. Neves is the former governor of Minas Gerais, one of Brazil’s most populous states and second richest state, and plans to establish a meritocracy. He currently serves as a senator.
The Brazilian election is October 5. Polls show Rousseff has dropped in poll ratings from 34% in April to 32.2% this month, though she is still the frontrunner. Neves has gained popularity from 19.9% to 21.5%. If neither candidate receives more than 50% of the votes, a runoff election will take place on October 26.