Home/Noticias/Brazil´s Neves Wins Party Nomination, Will Challenge President Rousseff
Brazil´s Neves Wins Party Nomination, Will Challenge President Rousseff
Brazilian Senator Aécio Neves won the Brazilian Social Democratic Partys nomination for Octobers presidential election on Saturday, the same day a new poll showed the candidate gaining ground on President Dilma Rousseff.
Ms. Rousseff would get 32.2% of votes in the election, according to the survey by Instituto Sensus and Isto É magazine, compared with 34% at the end of April. Mr. Neves would gain 21.5% of the votes, up from 19.9% previously, while Brazilian Socialist Party hopeful Eduardo Campos would get 7.5%, from 8.3% in April.
“This will be the most competitive presidential race in Brazil in many years,” said João Augusto de Castro Neves, Latin America director at political risk research and consulting firm Eurasia Group in Washington. “But we still see the president as favorite, with a 70% chance of being re-elected.”
The 54-year-old former governor of the state of Minas Gerais is taking on the president amid criticism of rising prices, sluggish economic growth and out-of-control spending on the soccer World Cup championship taking place in Brazil.
“Problems we thought had been overcome, such as inflation, are now back,” Mr. Neves said in an emotional speech to thousands of supporters in São Paulo. “Its a consequence of a government which thinks only about itself and has lost the ability to listen.”
The pro-business senator has said in interviews that if elected he will simplify Brazil´s complex tax code and seek to reduce the so-called Brazil cost, another name for the high taxes, inadequate infrastructure and government bureaucracy that make the country an expensive place to live and run a business.
“He could improve things here,” said Danilo Scarparo, a 36-year-old sports clothing entrepreneur based in São Paulo. “To change things for the better, the country needs to give more support to companies, cut taxes, invest in health and education, something that this government hasn´t been doing” enough of.
Critics say dissatisfaction with Ms. Rousseffs intrusive economic policies and an inability to spur faster growth may help her challengers.
Brazil´s gross domestic product is expected to grow 1.5% this year, which would be the fourth consecutive year of tepid growth after an expansion of 7.5% in 2010. Climbing prices have forced the central bank to raise its benchmark interest rate over the past year, raising the cost of borrowing.
Mr. Neves is the grandson of Tancredo Neves, who was elected president of Brazil in 1985 but died of an illness before being sworn in. That association helps the younger Mr. Neves, who is also seen as having governed Minas Gerais effectively.
“He has a very high approval rate in his state and has an important last name,” explained Claudio Pereira, 39, an advertising professional who went to the convention Saturday. “I support him because I am worried with the corruption in Brazil.”
Widespread disapproval of the $11.5 billion World Cup price tag, and concern that some of that money might have been diverted illegally, have taken a toll on the president´s popularity. Since last year, Brazilians have been taking the streets to protest against the low quality of Brazilian public services and demand better hospitals and schools.
Ms. Rousseff, 66, was greeted by jeers and off-color chants before Thursday´s World Cup opening match.
“There is a chance of a surprise here,” said political scientist Carlos Melo, a professor at Insper, a Brazilian education and research center. He said both Messrs. Neves and Campos will be helped by the fact the government is less organized and has a weaker economic team than in 2010, when the president was first elected. Ms. Rousseff still has many advantages, he added.
“Shes the favorite because she has the most effective tools. She will have more time on television, she has a strong marketing professional and an extraordinary campaigner” in former President Luiz Inácio da Silva, who made Ms. Rousseff his successor and is campaigning for her.
Ms, Rousseff secured the support of two important political groups earlier in June, including Brazil´s largest party. Members of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party and the Labor Democratic Party voted to continue supporting Ms. Rousseff´s Workers Party in the coming election. The alliances will increase her allotted time in TV and radio ads, which will start running before the elections.
Ms. Rousseff´s party has scheduled its national convention for June 21. The presidency didnt answer to an email requesting a comment for this article.