With the purpose of promoting the candidacy of his cabinet chief Dilma Rousseff to the presidency Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced a spree of public works inaugurations from now until April. This with less than a year for the presidential elections.
“I will inaugurate all possible public works, which are many, before April” because by then “Dilma will no longer be in government” and will be barred from participating in these kind of events.
In Brazil all government officials with aspirations for the coming October 3 election must resign their posts by April. Therefore Lula’s statement that he will be promoting and opening as many government-sponsored works as possible.
“It is necessary to show who are the people who have helped to get things done in this country,” said Lula.
The former union leader is barred constitutionally from a second re-election (he was first voted in 2002 and repeated in 2006) and thus has been promoting for over a year his cabinet chief Rousseff who so far has not confirmed publicly her wish to bid for the presidency.
The ruling Workers Party, PT, is scheduled to hold a national convention in February when Rousseff is expected to be officially proclaimed as the ruling coalition’s candidate.
Ms Rousseff, 62, is a member of the PT since 1999 with over two decades working in government but always in technical jobs, never elected posts.
However in the last three years she had been head of PAC, an ambitious program to Accelerate Economic Growth, mainly through infrastructure projects all over Brazil.
But in spite of Lula’s promotion of her cabinet chief, Ms Rousseff only has a 20% support in public opinion polls for October’s election, which also reveal her name remains unknown for millions of Brazilians.
Those same surveys show opposition candidate and governor of the state of São Paulo, José Serra as the most probable successor of Lula da Silva with a comfortable 40% support.