MOSCOW, August 24 (RIA Novosti) - Eduardo Campos’ sudden death and environmentalist Marina Silva’s decision to run instead makes the ongoing presidential campaign even more open and unpredictable, Mr. Collecott, former British Ambassador to Brazil and a Trustee of Canning House, tells Radio VR citing a whole string of largely social issues that are critical in today’s Brazil.
“As we saw in widely publicized public demonstrations during the football Federation Cup last year, prior to the World Cup, lack of public services despite the quite high taxation in Brazil and the feeling that the state and the political system is not delivering for ordinary people due to corruption, or inefficiency or other factors, top the list of concerns.”
“Therefore there’s a disillusion with politics which, as I figure out, Marina Silva might be able to overcome,” Mr. Collecott says.
Eduardo Campos, socialist presidential candidate, who died in a plane crash on August 13 once voiced a criticism that Rousseff started off doing many things but eventually finished nothing, states the expert. This plays into a feeling that the previous two presidents are higher reputed people. Notably, Fernando Henrique Cardoso accomplished a great achievement and killed inflation, while his predecessor Lula addressed to a great extent the poverty and inequality in the country.
There is generally a possibility of the two opposition candidates narrowing the incumbent president Rousseff’s lead by the October election.
Aecio Neves from Brazilian Social Democratic Party assures that he is prepared to back Marina Silva, who has replaced late Campos in this presidential race, if she wins through to the second round. However, it’s still debatable if the opposite is true, says the expert.
There has been also a speculation that Silva might remain neutral to every candidate in the second round, a tactic she used four years ago when she also ran for presidency, Mr. Collecott adds.
The main challenge to Rousseff is that both opposition candidates are known nationwide: Silva “has the great advantage” that she is well known as the self-educated populist not coming from “a privileged background”. Meanwhile, Aecio Neves is a candidate for the Social Democrats, the widely supported opposition party in Brazil and is currently second-placed in opinion polls, trailing right behind the frontrunner Dilma Rousseff.
The expert goes on to say that despite common assumptions, if President Rousseff does get a second term, she will inevitably realize she will have to make changes to her political approach to secure her gains.
Preliminary polls have Rousseff placing first, followed by a neck-to-neck tie between Aecio Neves and Marina Silva. In a dynamic move, the Brazilian Social Democracy Party pledged to throw its full support behind Silva if she bests their candidate in early October. The second round of the election is slated for October 26.
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