Just as President Dilma Rousseff thought she had put a scandal affecting state-owned oil company Petrobras behind her, it has come roaring back, nastier than ever.
Paulo Roberto Costa, a former Petrobras executive accused of accepting kickbacks in return for contracts, has reportedly made a plea bargain with investigators that has got Brasília sweating. Continue reading »
When Brazil’s presidential election circus arrived in Rio Grande do Sul this week, it was hard not to see the difference between the styles of the two leading candidates.
Marina Silva, the upstart environmentalist who has suddenly taken the lead in the polls, staged what was almost a stealth visit. On Thursday, she arrived at Expointer 2014, a large agricultural fair on the edge of the state capital Porto Alegre, in a van ,and held tough closed-door meetings with her erstwhile adversaries in the rural sector. Continue reading »
Dilma Rousseff is an impressive woman. Under Brazil’s military dictatorship she was held in prison for three years, where she was beaten, tortured with electric shocks and hung upside down for long periods of time. After rebuilding her life, she was elected the first female president in Brazilian history in 2010, setting an example for generations of women to come.
However, in her first official campaign video ahead of October’s elections this week, Dilma has been reincarnated as a…housewife. Continue reading »
If anyone had any doubts about the political significance of the tragic plane crash that killed presidential candidate Eduardo Campos last week, they only need to see the results of Monday’s Datafolha poll.
Marina Silva, who is set to take over as candidate for the Brazilian Socialist party (PSB), attracted over twice as much support as Mr Campos did before he died and now stands a real chance of winning October’s elections. Continue reading »
Does Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff look for the first time like she might lose the October election?
Nomura economists Tony Volpon and George Lei think so. In a note released after a poll by research firm Ibope, they said Rousseff’s chances of losing to opposition candidate Aécio Neves were now 60 per cent. They point to figures that are among the president’s worst polling results since mass protests shook the nation last June. Continue reading »
For President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil, the latest poll on her popularity offers from her perspective good news and bad news in equal measure.
The good news from the Pew Research Center is that 51 per cent of Brazilians view her favourably for the presidential elections in October compared with 27 per cent for Aécio Neves, the opposition candidate from the more pro-business PSDB party, and 24 per cent for her other opposition rival Eduardo Campos.
The bad news is that underneath these headline figures, there is a wealth of data showing Brazilians are becoming dissatisfied with their lot. Continue reading »
Imagine you’re Brazil’s central bank president, Alexandre Tombini.
It’s an election year and your boss is Dilma Rousseff. Growth is slowing and high interest rates are boosting debt servicing costs for voters who are up to their eyeballs in debt. Continue reading »
The 13th in our series of guest posts on the outlook for 2014 is by Marcos Troyjo of Columbia University
As a new year begins, uncertainties generally abound. But that is not true about Brazil in 2014. Quite the contrary. The world can clearly see what is coming Brazil’s way: a country treading below potential.
When Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was campaigning for president in 2002, he wanted to signal his willingness to stick to the tenets of economic stability established by Fernando Henrique Cardoso and yet push for change in other fronts. He did so by writing a ‘Letter to the Brazilian People’. Continue reading »
Pope Francis’ visit last week seemed to last forever – every night the pontiff was on prime time television, awing the gathered millions with his sermons on Copacabana beach. His Gregorian tones and the freezing winds of an unusually cold winter made a change for a scene usually associated with the more worldly pursuits of sun-bathing and beer swilling.
Perhaps this week of Catholicism and the constant invoking of the Holy Trinity also infected the strategists at the ruling Workers’ Party in Brasília. What else could have moved President Dilma Rousseff’s to tell Folha de S.Paulo that she and her mentor, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the man who represents the spirit of the PT, are in fact “one”. Continue reading »
On the face of it, political reform in Brazil sounds like a great idea. And when President Dilma Rousseff proposed a plebiscite to that end last month she must have hoped it would be enough to satisfy the hordes of angry protesters storming the country’s streets.
But two weeks later the plebiscite is in danger of becoming yet another political soap opera that does more to expose the system’s problems than solve them. Continue reading »
There are only ten days left now until Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff, has to decide whether to approve one of the country’s most controversial pieces of legislation – the oil and gas royalties bill.
And she is still sticking to her guns, it seems. Continue reading »
Anything can happen in politics, and even more so in Brazilian politics, but President Dilma Rousseff could hardly have hoped for better at this stage of her term.
From a shaky start with ministers falling like ninepins last year , to the faltering economy this year, things could have been far worse. Had she mishandled the corruption scandals of last year, or the Mensalão (big monthly allowance) Congress vote-buying scam presently making its way through the courts, or tried to bully her coalition partners, she might now be facing a very different scenario. Continue reading »
The news could hardly be better for the government of Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff. After months of egging the economy on with a mix of protectionist and stimulus measures and heady rhetoric, finally some results.
Not only has the central bank’s forward indicator on gross domestic product indicated stronger growth in June than expected but retail sales and job creation have also come in better than expected. Continue reading »
The scene is in the office of Brazil’s president Dilma Rousseff, in the Palácio do Planalto, her presidential palace in Brasília. After ushering out all underlings and obsequious ministers to ensure she is alone, she turns to a mirror on the wall and asks: “Mirror, mirror, who is the most popular president of them all?”
The mirror replies, after some Hollywood special effects: “No, it is not Barack Obama, not even close. No, it is not Cristina (Argentina), next door. No, it is not even your predecessor, former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, as wildly popular as he may have been. It is you my Presidenta.” Continue reading »
There have long been fears that President Dilma Rousseff might one day be overwhelmed by infighting in her enormous coalition, which at last count was comprised of 17 parties.
Lacking the charisma of her predecessor, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Dilma has a different style, commonly known as “kick butt”. She simply replaces those who fall out of line. Continue reading »