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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – The Brazilian government has been “regulating” fuel and energy rates to stave off higher inflation, President Dilma Rousseff’s Chief of Staff told the Folha de S.Paulo newspaper on Wednesday.

In his first major interview since taking up the ministerial position, Aloizio Mercadante denied Brazil was “controlling prices,” but admitted the country had mechanisms for delaying price rises in certain areas to minimise the impact on inflation.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – President Dilma Rousseff’s lead over her rival presidential hopefuls is shrinking, the latest poll to be published ahead of this year’s general elections revealed on Friday.

The Datafolha poll surveyed 2,844 people in over 170 Brazilian cities about their voting intentions for the general elections, the first round of which is set for 5 October.

Some 37% said they would vote for Rousseff, pre-candidate for the left-leaning Workers’ Party (PT), down from 38% in the previous Datafolha survey conducted in April. The same poll gave Rousseff 44% of the vote in February.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – Key figures in Brazil’s Workers’ Party (PT) have rallied around President Dilma Rousseff at the party’s national conference on Friday in an attempt to put an end to rumours that the party’s former president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, could run as the party’s presidential candidate in this year’s general elections.

UPDATE: Rousseff officially confirmed as party’s candidate, and Lula tells conference there is “no other candidate” but warns party “won’t have easy campaign”.

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Anadolu Agency

SÃO PAULO – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has been accused by rival presidential hopefuls of using a May Day speech broadcast on national television and radio for her own gains ahead of this year’s elections.

Rival presidential pre-candidates senator Aécio Neves, of the main opposition Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), and former governor Eduardo Campos of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), launched a scathing attack on Thursday over the president’s national address, which they criticised as being directed towards general elections set for 5 October.

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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

Voters in fifty cities, including 17 state capitals, headed back to the polls on Sunday in the second round of Brazil’s municipal elections, to decide on their prefeito (city mayor). The municipal elections have also served as a mid-term litmus test on the popularity of the parties looking toward the 2014 presidential race.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and new São Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad, photo by Antônio Cruz/ABr.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and new São Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad meet at the Planalto, Brasília, a day after his victory in the second round of municipal elections. Photo by Antônio Cruz/ABr.

The second round involved cities with populations over 200,000 where no candidate had reached the fifty-percent threshold in the first round held on October 7th.

The win by Fernando Haddad (PT) as mayor of São Paulo against rival José Serra (PSDB) was perhaps the best news for the party.

However, the PT did not fare as well nationwide, losing control of much of the northeast, including Salvador, Recife and Fortaleza.

The PT is now leading in bigger cities while the PMDB is in smaller ones, and half of the elected candidates are from the three leading parties – the PT, PMDB and PSDB.

Also in the full article on The Rio Times (click here):

  • Did the Mensalão scandal affects the number of votes the PT received?
  • Who will be in the running for the 2014 presidential elections after Serra’s disappointing result in São Paulo?
  • What will now happen to the political landscape in Brazil?