Daily Archives: 20 March 2014

Brazil’s incumbent president Dilma Rousseff would win a second term in office comfortably and without a runoff if this year’s general elections were held today, an influential pollster in the country said on Thursday.

Despite a first term in office dominated by a stagnant economy and, later, anti-government protests, Rousseff would still hold a wide lead over her rivals, according to the poll by the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics, IBOPE.

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff. Photo by Roberto Stuckert Filho.

Brazil President Dilma Rousseff has a wide lead over rivals for October’s presidential elections. Photo by Roberto Stuckert Filho.

The survey of 2,002 people conducted between 13 and 17 March, which had a margin of error of ±2%, gave the current president a vote share of between 40% and 43%, depending on which opponents she faced.

IBOPE gave those surveyed a variety of scenarios given not all candidates may yet have officially entered the race.

Rousseff’s nearest rival was Aécio Neves, a senator from Minas Gerais state and member of the country’s main opposition party, the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB). He would garner around 13% of the vote, the poll suggested.

PSB candidate Eduardo Campos, who recently launched a scathing attack on the president, would get 6% of votes and third place.

Crucially, the IBOPE survey showed that many Brazilians have yet to make up their minds. Many responded that they would spoil their vote or simply did not know yet.

Ibope survey

The IBOPE survey shows Rousseff would get 40%, Neves 13% and Campos 6%, but that 24% would spoil their ballot and 12% were unsure. Graphic by G1.

Although the Brazilian electoral system would normally require a candidate to reach the 50 percent threshold in order to avoid a second round, the pollster said that Rousseff would get more votes than all other candidates combined and therefore take the election in the first round.

Voting in the general elections on 5 October, based upon which the president, deputies, senators, state governors and state legislatures are appointed, is mandatory but Brazilians can spoil their vote or not vote for a legitimate reason which they then have to ‘justify’ to the authorities.

The news was welcomed by Rousseff and her Workers Party (PT), particularly after her approval ratings slumped from over 60% towards the beginning of her presidency to just 31% in the wake of last year’s mass anti-government protests, which saw over a million Brazilians take to the streets – although this had recovered to around 40% by November 2013.

Some 7% of respondents said they would vote for the former president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, although he is not running and has publicly backed Dilma Rousseff, whom he put forward for the 2010 elections after reaching a maximum of two terms in office.

President Lula left office with approval ratings of 83%.

Extended version of report written for Anadolu Agency

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FIFA inspection. Photo by Nacho Doce/Reuters.

FIFA and the LOC will now inspect the six stadiums not used in last year’s Confederations Cup. Photo by Nacho Doce/Reuters.

With less than three months until kick-off in Brazil, FIFA and the Brazil 2014 Local Organising Committee (LOC) began a final, week-long round of operational inspections on Thursday for stadiums hosting this year’s World Cup, even though three of the venues have yet to be completed.

After visiting the six stadiums which hosted last year’s World Cup warm-up, the Confederations Cup, in January, the final round of inspections will visit the remaining six stadiums – in São Paulo, Porto Alegre, Curitiba, Cuiabá, Manaus and Natal.

LOC stadiums operations manager Tiago Paes said the inspection tour was a final chance to “consolidate operational plans” and would allow the various World Cup departments, from security to catering, to make sure everything planned over the last few years is in place.

First on the list is São Paulo’s Arena Corinthians, also known as the Itaquerão, which will host the World Cup opener on 12 June between Brazil and Croatia.

But the 65,800-capacity stadium is now causing the biggest headache for soccer’s world governing body, as it is still at least six weeks from completion.

The Brazilian construction company working on the stadium, Odebrecht, says it will be operational by 15 April, but Corinthians, the soccer team behind the work, says some items will take longer, including some VIP boxes and the all-important big screens.

Curitiba’s Arena da Baixada and the Arena Pantanal in Cuiabá are also as yet unfinished and work on both is expected to go to the wire.

Even if the stadiums are completed on time, there are concerns that temporary structures, such as those set to house broadcast teams and sponsors, may not be.

FIFA said its secretary general, Jérôme Valcke, is expected back in Brazil next week for a “series of meetings” to discuss World Cup preparations. Inspection teams are expected to report their findings back to him on 27 March in Rio de Janeiro.

The twelve stadiums were meant to have been ready by December 2013 to meet FIFA’s deadline and allow for the venues to be tested but when the New Year arrived, six of the stadiums were not ready.

Host cities are now working round the clock to get both stadiums and associated infrastructure projects ready, or at least in some working form, for this June’s much-anticipated tournament.

Written for Anadolu Agency