Given the almost certain victory of the Brazilian ruling party’s presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff, whose family came from Bulgaria, the country of Bulgaria has been engulfed in a Dilma fever.
Dailies, magazines, broadcasting and television stations are closely following the Brazilian presidential electoral campaign and many journalist are ready to cover the event in situ next October 3 when a Bulgarian descendent could be chosen to rule over the world’s seventh largest economy.
“If Kenya celebrated the victory of Barack Obama, whose father came from that African country, Bulgaria is ready to celebrate Dilma of Bulgarian descent,” underlined Brazil’s largest circulation daily, Folha de S. Paulo.
“We’re a very small country and the possibility that someone whose father was Bulgarian could occupy such an important job really gets hold of us,” said Jorge Nalbantov, from Sofia’s TV7 channel, who is scheduled to travel to Brazil to cover ballot day, next October 3.
According to Folha de S. Paulo, the former guerrilla fighter against the military dictatorship (1964-1985) and former cabinet chief of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva is described in Bulgaria’s media as the “Iron Lady” or the “Bulgarian Margaret Thatcher” and the “All powerful woman of the Lula government”.
Last week one of Sofia’s main dailies, Trud, had two full pages dedicated to the former minister born in Belo Horizonte, capital of the state of Minas Gerais, and her Bulgarian roots.
Over the weekend Trud published an article with the heading: “Dilma Rousseff, all my love to Bulgaria”, based on the reply of the presidential candidate to a question from a Brazilian television channel.
Some media in Sofia even published that Dilma was Bulgarian with headings such as “A Bulgarian could be Brazil’s next president.”
“I do all my best to try to explain to journalists that she’s not Bulgarian, as I’m not Polish”, said the Brazilian ambassador in Sofia Paulo Américo Wolowskik in reference to his roots.
He confirmed the “Dilma-mania” in the Bulgarian press ahead of the October election.
Meanwhile the latest public opinion polls published last weekend have Dilma Rousseff candidate of the ruling coalition and hand picked by Lula da Silva, leading comfortably with 50% of vote intention, which in ballot terms means she won’t need a run-off at the end of October.
“Only a storm can change the bonanza,” which has taken grip of the government’s candidate Rousseff said Mauro Paulinho, head of DataFolha, the pollster.
“The majority of the electorate know that Dilma is the candidate chosen by Lula and deposit on her their continuity expectations,” added Paulino.
Lula will be stepping down next January with a support of 80%, the most popular Brazilian leader since the fifties when Getúlio Vargas was the Brazilian leader.
Rousseff’s main opponent, former governor of São Paulo, José Serra, has stagnated at 28% vote intention although at one moment he was ahead with 36%. This also in spite of the fact that confidential fiscal information on his family, particularly his daughter, was made public, stolen and released illegally by ruling Workers party militants employed at the Revenue Office.
The third candidate is Marina Silva, an environmentalist, like Rousseff a former minister of Lula, but now running of the Green party ticket: she has 10% vote intention.
However in the powerhouse of Brazil, the state of Sao Paulo, the candidate for governor from the Social Democracy of Brazil party, Geraldo Alkmin leads almost two to one (50% to 24%) over his main opponent Aloizio Mercadante from the ruling Workers party at federal level. Alkmin belongs to the same party as Mr Serra.
The DataFolha poll was done last Thursday/Friday including 4.314 interviews, with a margin error of plus/minus two percentage points. A previous poll from another important consultant, Ibope, had similar numbers and the same tendency, Serra stabilized and Dilma still inching upwards.