Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva called on fellow Brazilians to vote for his successor Dilma Rousseff on Sunday’s election, during the closing program of the electoral campaign free television time.
“You trust me and consider my government good; don’t be scared, vote for Dilma. Like me, Dilma loves the poor. When you vote for Dilma you are voting for me,” said the president whose 80% popularity has boosted his hand picked candidate and is favorite to win next Sunday’s ballot.
Lula who has campaigned as much or more than Ms Rousseff emphasized his presence in the last televised propaganda program before Sunday in spite of the fact public opinion polls show Ms Rousseff comfortably ahead of his closest rival, José Serra.
The free radio and television program for presidential hopefuls, governors, Senate, Lower House and regional assemblies which was launched last August 17 concluded Thursday, three days ahead of Sunday October 3.
Ms. Rousseff two main rivals, José Serra from the Brazilian Social Democracy party and Marina Silva running on the Green party ticket also took advantage of the last spots on radio and television to appeal to the electorate to support them and force a presidential run-off at the end of October.
Until last week Ms Rousseff was the undisputed favorite without the need of a second round but this week’s polls, from DataFolha, Ibope and Sensus, indicated that the campaign could extend to the end of the month.
Dilma lost ground, still hovering around 50%, Serra was up to 31% and Ms Silva, 17%.
Since opinion polls have a plus/minus 2 percentage points error, the 50% vote intention for the incumbent candidate is no longer certain to win in the first round, as was the case only two weeks ago.
In this new scenario the campaign has picked up in the last few days forcing President Lula on stage again in support of his candidate.
“Dilma Rousseff is the guarantee that Brazil will continue to advance”, said the Brazilian president on asking support for the continuity of his Workers Party administration by voting for Dilma.
“Today is the last day of electoral programs. On Sunday we will decide between two very different models: ours which you already know, which put Brazil on the fast track again”, said Ms Rousseff in her last message.
“The other model is no mystery: concentration, exclusion and erasing the poor from government statistics,” underlined Dilma.
In his final presentation former São Paulo governor José Serra called on the electorate to stop for a few moments and think before voting: what country do I want to leave for my children? I want a Brazil where the people win, and the people who win are those who make an honest living through hard work.”
The message was directed to recent revelations exposing cases of corruption that have surfaced in the last few days involving people very close and of total confidence of both Lula and Dilma, and apparently have had an impact on vote intention.