The Brazilian ruling party, the PT (Workers Party), has published a summary in English of Lula’s program for a second mandate, which would last from January 2007 to December 2010.
The idea is to expose the outside world, mainly possible investors, to president Lula’s intentions in what seems now an inevitable second mandate. Brazilians will go to the polls on October 1st.
This coming Thursday, September 7, the day Brazil celebrates its independence, the PT should also open an office in the US to get American backing for Lula’s reelection campaign.
The Workers Party wants to ease foreign investors fear and is sending the message that in a second mandate Lula will be taking better care of the country’s infrastructure, building and upgrading roads, airports and ports.
Here’s the PT’s document in its entirety:
LULA WANTS A SECOND TERM WITH ECONOMIC GROWTH AND INCOME DISTRIBUTION.
The second term of office of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva will be marked by economic growth with income distribution. The Government Platform for the next four years (2007-2010), organized around six action axes, was made public on Tuesday, August 29th, by President Lula at a ceremony in São Paulo.
Lula considers that during his first term the conditions were created for the country to grow in a sustainable way for several years. To ensure the continuity of this growth, the platform has included the execution or conclusion of large infrastructure works in ports, airports, highways, and railways.
In the social area the Lula Administration will continue to extend the benefits of the Family Allowance (Bolsa Família) Program and to uphold the policy designed to increase the minimum wage in real terms.
Furthermore, "the second term of the Lula Administration will keep on striving to eradicate hunger, [and] will maintain and broaden the scope of the well-succeeded social policies implemented by the Zero Hunger Program, especially the Family Allowance," says the Platform.
The target of much polemic over the last days, the political reform will receive preferential treatment in the next term, particularly with regard to the funding of electoral campaigns and partisan loyalty.
In the Public Security area, President Lula intends to strengthen surveillance along the borders, and consolidate the Single System of Public Security by integrating law enforcement agencies at the municipal, state, and federal spheres.
Health and Education will continue to merit special attention in the second term. For that, President Lula wants to universalize the nine-year fundamental educational level and establish, in partnership with Congress, a wage floor for teachers.
In the introduction to the 30-page document, the PT, PCdoB, and PRB coalition, responsible for elaborating the Platform, renders a brief account of the situation found in the country in 2002 and strongly criticizes what it called the "negative heritage" handed down by the previous administration.
The policies implemented by the PSDB-PFL coalition, says the text, halted growth, concentrated wealth and income, debilitated the State, and spread corruption. In the text, the coalition acknowledges the fact that, despite the breakthroughs made during the first term, there is still a long road ahead and, for that reason, defends the President’s reelection:
"Lula’s reelection is the guarantee that there will be no setbacks, that the transition toward a new Brazil won’t have its course interrupted. It is an assurance, too, that the changes will be effected with the strengthening of democracy and the renewal of the country’s political culture".
The Government Platform also counters the neoliberal thesis that an increase in social spending harms the country’s accounts: "The right sees these social investments (Family Allowance), as well as the increase of the minimum wage above inflation, as threats to the fiscal balance, a thesis which has been proven wrong by the reality of the last three years. The opposition’s project is to go back to the FHC (Fernando Henrique Cardoso) era with a reduction in social investments and the uptake of privatizations," states the document.
Still with reference to the goal of consolidating the country’s economic growth, President Lula pledges to further reduce interest rates, closing the gap with those adopted by developing countries. Such reduction would enable the country to raise the domestic investment rate in the productive sector from the current 20% to 25%.
The President is committed to the continuity of the National Plan for the Agrarian Reform, in keeping with the priority of setting up quality settlements and recovering the existing settlements.
On the path to sustainable, long-term development, the Platform lists as a priority the construction of the Petrochemical Pole and of the Rio de Janeiro Steelworks, in addition to the construction of the Gas Pipeline (Gasfor) responsible for the supply of gas to the Ceará Steelworks.
Infrastructure priorities listed are, among others, the ongoing duplication of highway BR-101 South, BR-101 Northeast (with the widening of the sector toward Bahia), the building of highway BR-163 in Pará, of BR-158 in Mato Grosso, of BR-364 in Acre, the duplication of BR-153 in Goiás and Minas Gerais, and of BR-040 in Minas Gerais.
The Platform also includes the conclusion of the current recovery and widening works along other structural axes for the routing of cargo and passengers, as BR-153/010 (Belém-Brasília), BR-163 in Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, BR-116 between Bahia and Minas Gerais, in addition to the construction of the Rio de Janeiro Road Arc. The government will also tender a concession for the start-up of the building of the Rio Madeira and Belo Monte hydroelectric plants.
Just as occurred in the first term, President Lula’s second government will enhance and strengthen the Single System of Health (SUS), which is to have more social control. The target is to identify the needs of the population, to meet the public good, and to combat corruption.
The SUS smart card will be universalized and is to become the flagship of automation and access to treatments. Still regarding the health area, new, medium complexity Specialized Treatment Centers will be created to ensure the full treatment for SUS users.
These Centers will be able to conduct specialized diagnostic procedures, rehabilitation services with the supply of orthoses and prostheses, minor emergencies, and elective surgeries not requiring a hospital or emergency room, plus the distribution of more complex medication.
The Zero Hunger Program will keep breaking ground, enhancing the Family Allowance and the various other initiatives that broaden access of the poorest to food through such programs as the school cafeterias, acquisition of food, low-income restaurants, among others.
The Zero Hunger will remain the hub of structuring actions, as the agrarian reform and the family farming programs, and the wealth and income generation and alimentary education programs, in an integrated policy.
MEET THE MAIN POINTS OF THE SIX AXES OF THE GOVERNMENT PLATFORM
1 – Combat to social exclusion, poverty, and inequality:
* The second Lula Administration will continue advancing toward eradicating hunger, and keep and broaden the scope of the well-succeeded social policies implemented by the Zero Hunger Program, especially the Family Allowance;
* Boost job, wealth, and income opportunities, particularly by means of measures designed to attract more labor-intensive public and private investments, especially in micro- and small enterprises;
* Scale up the urban reform process;
* Proceed in its purpose of guaranteeing light for all.
2 – Scaling up of the new development model: growth with income distribution and environmental sustainability:
* The ongoing reduction of real interest rates will help to further reduce public debt and will increase credit availability to productive enterprises and workers;
* Regulatory actions will be furthered to secure the conditions for the private investments necessary to the country’s development, in addition to introducing alterations in the legal framework designed to favor the investment climate;
* The new development cycle will further stimulate micro, small, and medium entrepreneurs by means of legal, technical, fiscal, and credit measures;
* For the model to be sustainable it will be necessary to keep on combining the Agrarian Reform, the support to family farming, and incentives for the agribusiness sector and the solving of its structural commercialization problems;
* The economy’s sustained expansion will be assured by the combined effort of several banking institutions, mainly public, and by additional measures designed to create incentives for speculative capitals to return to the productive sphere.
3 – Brazil for all. Quality mass-education. Culture, communications, science, and technology as instruments toward development and democracy:
* Quality education available to all must be construed as an instrument to boost the production, organization, and spreading of knowledge and culture.
* The Brazilian State will reaffirm its commitment to an integrated education policy, acknowledging it as an unalienable and urgent right. To meet these objectives, among other actions, it is imperative that the FUNDEB be approved by Congress.
* Emphasis will be placed on access to a public, democratic and quality school; on eradicating illiteracy; on digital inclusion; on broader access to professional, technical, and technological education; and on a reformed, expanded, and top-quality university.
4 – Spreading democracy:
* Priority will be given to a Political Reform to be defined by means of a broad dialog involving Congress, the parties, and the Brazilian society. It should ensure partisan plurality, partisan loyalty, public funding of electoral campaigns, and proportional voting, preferably by a previously-arranged ticket, in addition to the building of the necessary majorities required by governability.
* The Reform should also include an overhauling of the procedures for the elaboration and oversight of the Budget, among other measures aiming to strengthen popular representation and confer full legitimacy onto the Republic’s branches.
* The second Lula Administration will keep striving in the pursuit of more control by the citizens over the State, stimulating the participation of civil society in the formulation of the Budget.
5 – Guaranteeing the security of Brazilian men and women:
* The next Administration will push forward and consolidate its conception of Citizen Public Security, hinged on the Single System of Public Security, having as basic principles the integration of the public security institutions and the democratization and participation of both society and the State in combating violence and crime.
* The democratization and participation of society and the State will contribute to shape a new political culture in tackling the question of violence – the notion of citizen public security -, geared toward the prevention and efficient repression against crime, in special, of organized crime, by means of the solidarity participation of society and of the enforcement agencies at every level of the Federation, considering security as a citizenry’s fundamental right in Brazilian society.
6 – Sovereign global participation:
* Brazil will further its sovereign participation in the world. It will campaign in international forums for multilateralism, and contribute to the reform of the United Nations and its Security Council, where it seeks to hold a seat. It will maintain its initiatives in favor of a fairer economic, financial, and commercial order that will benefit poor, and developing, countries, while simultaneously reducing today’s world’s asymmetries.
* It will continue to prioritize the South-American integration process – the Mercosur and the South-American Community of Nations – and to strengthen South-South relations, placing special emphasis on its relations with the countries of the African continent, while at the same time seeking to increase its access to the European, North-American and Asian large markets, and to keep a positive and sovereign relationship with the developed countries.
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