Sunday, June 11, Brazil’s opposition party PSDB (Party of the Brazilian Social Democracy) held its national convention and confirmed the former governor of São Paulo, Geraldo Alckmin, as the party’s official candidate for the presidency in this year’s October election.
The convention also approved senator José Jorge from the PFL (Liberal Front Party) of Pernambuco state as Alckmin’s running mate. On Wednesday, June 21, the PFL will hold its convention and ratify the PSDB decision.
In his acceptance speech, Alckmin attacked the government’s economic policies, pointing out that Brazil has the world’s highest interest rates and the government’s tax revenue is equal to 40% of GDP.
Other problems he cited were continuing regional disparities, problems with infrastructure and the lack of investments in essential areas such as education, health and public security. He also rebuked the present federal administration for its red tape and cronyism.
In the international area, Alckmin said it was necessary to "replace empty rhetoric with concrete results that are consonant with Brazil’s interests." He said present foreign policy is a "disaster."
Alckmin declared that tax reform must be a priority so that the tax burden on businesses and production could be alleviated. He pointed out that many small business are pushed into the informal market due to high costs. "The informal marketplace is a disease that undermines entrepreneurship," he said.
He also called for reducing unnecessary public spending. "Today Brazil is a slave to the government which spends too much and spends badly," he declared. The machinery of government is bloated with jobholders whose only qualification is their political loyalty, he said.
"A modern government cannot be an obstacle to socially responsible action by the private sector," said Alckmin. He went on to call for "…realistic budgets, instead of budgets that result from political horse trading."
"Along with the economy, our priority will be education," he declared, adding that the present government inherited from the PSDB (administration Cardoso 1994-2002) a safety net that covered 38 million Brazilians. The health sector should be assured of regular, consistent funding, he said.
And as for public security, "The fact that the country is not just is no reason to be complacent with crime. Zero Indulgence is our motto," concluded Alckmin.
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