During the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, PSDB, national convention that confirmed him as his party’s candidate for October 3 presidential elections, opposition presidential candidate José Serra told supporters that Brazil can’t continue to back dictators and regimes that ignore human rights.
The convention was held Saturday in Salvador, capital of the northeastern Brazilian state of Bahia, and stronghold of president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the most popular president Brazil has had since the return to democracy in 1985
In his acceptance speech to the convention that brought together 5,000 delegates and militants from all over the country, Serra attacked Lula’s foreign policy and without mentioning countries said that “human rights must be respected and protected not only in Brazil but in the whole world.”
Lula has close relations with the Castro brothers in Cuba and president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Iran, countries which the PSDB claims are not democratic and do not respect human rights: “you can’t go around praising dictators all round the planet because they are or might be allies of the ruling coalition in Brazil.”
Serra underlined he rejects point blank violent repression of ideas, torture or jail for ideological reasons for whomever thinks or expresses differently.
The opposition candidate who has as allies the conservative Popular Socialist Party and the Democrats recalled a long list of corruption cases involving the administration of Lula particularly one in 2005 known as the mensalão (the big monthly allowance) when it was revealed that many members of congress were on the payroll of the government to vote in support of the Executive’s legislative agenda.
“Congress must be an arena for debates, not a bazaar of vote peddling, selling and buying or for the distribution of monthly “fidelity” checks”, underlined Serra.
“We must say that it’s men who corrupt power and not power that corrupts men”, affirmed the opposition candidate who added that “honesty is not the government’s program: honesty is the obligation of whoever chooses to be in politics”.
Opposition leaders say they plan to play up Serra’s experience and try to prevent Rousseff from making the election a plebiscite on Lula’s eight years in power, which have seen Brazil’s economy power ahead and millions of people lifted out of poverty.