Dilma and Marina Gather Plans and Papers to Become Brazil’s President

Brazilian presidential candidates Dilma Rousseff and Marina SilvaDilma Rousseff, Lula’s handpicked presidential candidate to October 3 Brazilian elections promised, if elected, that President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, her mentor, will also be her advisor to help with all the reforms the country still needs to address.

“I want the president to advise me; I have a strong relation with Lula”, said Rousseff who’s the candidate for the ruling coalition headed by Lula’s Workers Party.

Rousseff added she was certain that the president would help her with the political and fiscal reforms but “without holding any post, in the event we win next October.”

The presidential candidate has never run for office nor has electoral experience; however she is considered the political heiress of president Lula, founder and undisputed leader of the Workers Party who has a prodigious public opinion support above 80%.

Lula steps down next January 1st and there have been all sort of speculations about his future, given the fact he has promised to continue in politics and lobbying for Brazil.

He has been mentioned as a possible candidate for United Nations Secretary General or head of the World Bank. Lula has refused to talk about those speculations.

Ms Rousseff, who for the first time since the campaign begun is leading in the opinion polls, also said Brazil was on a “fast track” to lower interest rates.

Interviewed by TV Cultura network’s Roda Viva Ms Rousseff said Brazil needs to decrease nominal budget deficits and sovereign debt in relation to the country’s GDP to be able to cut rates in a “sustainable” manner.

The country’s economy needs to grow 4.5% to 5.5% a year from 2011 to 2014 to reach an “international level” for its interest rates, she told the panel in the TV show, which was broadcast on its website.

But she also underlined that lowering the country’s interest rates in the short term would be “a concern” because of current international situation, Rousseff said.

At its last meeting, the Brazilian Central Bank raised the Selic rate to 10.25% and is expected to reach 12% by the end of the year. The rate remained unchanged during most of 2009 at a record low (for Brazil) of 8.75% until the last two meetings when two consecutive 0.75 percentage points’ increases were decided.

Marina

Election rules in Brazil are made by judges on the Electoral Board (Tribunal Superior Eleitoral, TSE). Senator Marina Silva requested registration of her candidacy for president of Brazil for the PV (Green) party pursuant to TSE rules. She went to the TSE and here is what she did.

Marina and the PV candidate for vice president, Guilherme Leal, left their documents at the TSE. The documents: a certified list of property and goods (Marina is worth 148,000 reais – US$ 83.38, Leal (a businessman in the cosmetics sector) is worth 1.19 billion – 670.4 million; certificates certifying that at the federal, state and municipal levels neither one has a criminal record (“Ficha Limpa”).

They also presented a document laying out their plans for governing the country; a copy of the minutes of the political party convention that nominated them; a certificate certifying that they have voted regularly in elections (in Brazil voting is mandatory so everyone has a voting card that is marked at each election); proof that they actually belong to the political party that nominated them; photos, a copy of their voting card (“título eleitoral”) and a written authorization for the registration.

After leaving that pile of papers at the TSE, Marina and Guilherme are still not officially candidates. The pile of papers will be examined by an electoral judge (“ministro responsável”) and if everything is in order the candidacy will be approved.

Campaigning officially begins next week. But before that all the other candidates will have to deliver documents to the TSE. As the TSE has accepted the registration of 17 political parties, it is possible to have 17 candidates for president of Brazil.

Fortunately, only 11 have declared that they will run so far. And it is quite possible that at least two of them, from small parties, will resign from the race. Even so, that makes for a field of nine candidates. And many piles of papers.

MP/ABr

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