Dilma Rousseff, the Brazilian presidential candidate handpicked by president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, strongly supports Brazilian majority participation in airlines although she admits not having been in touch with last week’s announcement of a merge between LAN Chile and Tam Brazil to become the largest Latinamerican air carrier.
“I hope that, as a result of Brazil’s size, there will be a large role for national capital within the sector,” said Rousseff to journalists during an electoral rally in Brazilian capital Brasília.
She also pointed out that “I did not take part in the discussion and was made aware of the situation by the press”.
In Brazil, foreign airlines are authorized to have a maximum participation rate of 20%. The national Congress, however, has planned to pass a bill to increase that rate to 49% until the first half of 2011.
According to a release sent by Tam to the stock exchange both companies will retain control, but share in cost saving measures. LAN leads in Chile and Tam in Brazil.
In related news the latest public opinion polls from DataFolha, a month and a half ahead of ballot day, Ms Rousseff leads with 41% vote intention, while her main rival, former governor of São Paulo José Serra, has fallen to 33%. Marina Silva from the Green Party follows with 10% of the vote.
Former cabinet chief and former energy minister, Ms Rousseff with no previous electoral experience is riding high because of the sustained support from President Lula who is enjoying an unprecedented popular support over 80%. Besides Lula handpicked the candidate and the Brazilian economy is going through a strong economic boom.
Lula called on Internet users to show support through the use of social networking sites and blogs for Dilma Rousseff. The president spoke in a video filmed especially for Rousseff’s electoral campaign.
“This is a historic moment and you can take part in helping to make the flow of information more democratic in Brazil. Every Internet user is an opinion builder,” said the president in a message included on Rousseff’s campaign blog.
He added that, through the use of the Internet, “each voter has the power to inform and to be informed.”