Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s personal pick to succeed him in the presidency, his cabinet chief Dilma Rousseff, 62, finally openly admitted that “yes” she would love to be nominated as the popular leader’s “successor.” Election will be held in October.
“I would like very much to be nominated to succeed Lula,” said Rousseff following a ceremony last week in Minas Gerais where she met with journalists, according to press reports from Belo Horizonte.
This means the end of Rousseff’s silence in spite of the fact she had been long considered the Workers Party nominee chosen by President Lula. The party is scheduled to elect its candidate during a national convention in February.
Lula in the last year of his second consecutive mandate is barred from re-re-election but he has openly admitted that he would like very much for the party to nominate Rousseff as the candidate. She had never expressed openly such willingness however.
One of the reasons for the “Rousseff-numb” campaign is the strict Brazilian electoral legislation on deadlines. The opposition has already presented several official complaints against Lula and Rousseff for anticipated “campaigning”.
However when she was asked about her running mate in the ticket, a most controversial issue, since Lula wants to ensure the support of the Brazilian democratic movement party, PMDB, (with the largest number of seats in the Lower House and the Senate) she was quick to point out “I’m still not the candidate.”
Meantime President Lula da Silva is recovering from a high blood pressure peak last week and should be resuming his full agenda on Monday.
“My health is perfect” said the president on Saturday following a medical check up at the prestigious Sao Paulo Heart Institute.
He will need a strong heart because this month he must convince his party to nominate Rousseff as presidential candidate and later negotiate her running mate.
Three names are mentioned: the president of the Lower House, Michel Temer; Communications minister Helio Costa and the head of the Central Bank Henrique Meirelles, all of them members from the PMDB.
But it’s also obvious that the main impulse for the ruling coalition’s campaign will be the president and his impressive standing popular support, above 80%.