The Brazilian Social Democrat opposition, party to which former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso belongs, consolidated in Sunday’s general election its grip on the country’s two main states, Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais.
José Serra, the former Public Health minister and presidential hopeful in 2002 has been elected governor of the state of São Paulo with 58% of the vote, defeating the ruling Workers Party or President Lula da Silva, candidate Aloizio Mercadante who managed 30%.
Even more impressive was the victory in the state of Minas Gerais of Aécio Neves also from the Brazilian Social Democrats, who won the governorship with a landslide vote of 75%. The Workers Party candidate Nilmário Miranda garnered 22%.
São Paulo and Minas Gerais make up almost half of Brazil’s GDP and are politically most influential, almost crucial for the seeding of prospective presidential candidates.
Mr. Serra ran unsuccessfully against President Lula da Silva in 2002, but Aécio Neves, grandson of another Brazilian president who was instrumental in helping Brazil recover democracy in 1985, is also seen as a very serious candidate for the Planalto Palace in 2010.