News / Americas

Lula's Chosen Successor Ahead in Brazilian Election Poll

A campaign poster for Workers Party presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff, left, with Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sits in the Andarai slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 01 Oct 2010
A campaign poster for Workers Party presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff, left, with Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva sits in the Andarai slum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 01 Oct 2010

Elections are being held Sunday in Brazil and the former chief of staff of Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is poised to become Brazil's first female leader. Polls show her with a strong enough lead to claim victory in the first round of voting.

Workers' Party candidate Dilma Rousseff has held a clear lead in the polls throughout the campaign.

And despite a corruption scandal in the chief-of-staff's office just a few weeks ago, a poll released a few days ago still gives her 52 percent of the vote. That's enough to decide the election on Sunday.

At the final debate on Thursday night, she said she's eager to take on the job. "Most of all I want to say that I am ready to be the first female president of the Republic. My goal is to make Brazil a developed country, to succeed in eradicating poverty and let all Brazilians share in its wealth. You can count on me," she said.

The twice-divorced favorite was left-wing guerrila leader in her youth, when Brazil was a military dictatorship.

Now, she's known as a capable technocrat who helped design the pragmatic policies of President Luiz Inacio da Silva - known around the world as Lula. Under his leadership, economic growth took off and tens of millions of Brazilians rose out of poverty.

Rousseff's critics note that she has never won an election and lacks Mr. Da Silva's charismatic style and his appeal to the working class.

Her main opponent is Jose Serra of the Brazilian Social Democratic party. He argues that much of the economic success is the result of groundwork laid by the previous president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who was from his party.

During the debate, Serra claimed credit for Mr. Da Silva's widely praised Bolsa Familia program, which paid poor families to keep their children in school. "Bolsa familia was created from the food grant program that that I created in my region. All of Brazil knows that," he said.

Despite Brazil's phenomenal growth, the current president has failed to tackle widespread corruption. The infrastructure is crumbling and many people say medical services and education have gotten worse.

Still, Mr. Da Silva has approval ratings around 80 percent. Political scientist and business consultant Amoury Souza says that is because economic growth and purchasing power increased even for the poor under his administration. "And this feel-good factor, it's very influential in the election. People would like the current situation to continue and therefore they have expressed their preference mostly for President Lula's candidate," he said.

There are twelve candidates running for president, and if Rousseff does not get an absolute majority on Sunday, a runoff must be held within 30 days. Still, analysts predict she will win either way.


Jerome Socolovsky

Jerome Socolovsky is the award-winning religion correspondent for the Voice of America, based in Washington. He reports on the rapidly changing faith landscape of the United States, including interfaith issues, secularization and non-affiliation trends and the growth of immigrant congregations.

You May Like

Photogallery Pope Condemns IS 'Persecution' of Minorities

Pope delivers annual 'Urbi et Orbi' (to the city and the world) blessing, appeals for end to conflicts in Africa, dialogue in Middle East, condemns Taliban attack in Pakistan More

China Reduces Number of Crimes Punishable by Death

Earlier this year China announced plans to remove nine crimes from the list of capital offenses, including counterfeiting, fraudulent fund-raising and forcing others into prostitution More

Analysis: For N. Koreans, Parody Has Grave Tone

Most North Koreans who might see 'The Interview' would be horribly offended, outraged, and confused More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syriai
X
Jeff Seldin
December 24, 2014 11:38 PM
Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Estimates Rising of Foreign Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Foreign fighters are making more of a mark on the battles raging across Syria and Iraq than initially thought. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more.
Video

Video Russians Head Into Holiday Facing Economic Malaise

Russian preparations for the New Year holiday are clouded by economic recession and a tumbling currency, the ruble. Nonetheless, people in the Russian capital appear to be in a festive mood. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Mombasa in Holiday Tourism Slump Due to Security Fears

Kenya's usually popular beachside tourist destination of Mombasa is seeing a much slower holiday season this year due to fears of insecurity as the country has suffered from a string of terror attacks linked to Somali militants. Mohammed Yusuf reports for VOA on how businessmen and tourists feel about the situation.
Video

Video For Somalis, 2014 Marked by Political Instability Within Government

While Somalia has long been torn apart by warfare and violence, this year one of the country's biggest challenges has come from within the government, as political infighting curtails the country's progress, threatens security gains and disappoints the international community. VOA's Gabe Joselow report.
Video

Video US Political Shift Could Affect Iran Nuclear Talks

Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to resolve Iran’s nuclear crisis are continuing into 2015 after Iran and six world powers failed to agree by a November deadline. U.S. domestic politics, however, could complicate efforts to reach a deal in the new year. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video NYSE: The Icon of Capitalism

From its humble beginnings in 1792 to its status as an economic bellweather for the world, the New York Stock Exchange is an integral part of the story of America. VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from Wall Street.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Video Opening Trade With Cuba Bittersweet for Some

Long-time Cuban exiles in Miami say news is double-edged for those who had to leave everything behind
More

Chikungunya Virus Infects More Than 1 Million in Americas

Illness is marked by severe joint pain, inflammation, headaches, rashes and fever; if infection is severe enough, it can lead to death
More

US Wants Open Internet Highway in Cuba

US pushes for more and freer Internet access for Cubans, but is Havana on board?
More

Column: Cuba Shift Could Help Break Iran Deadlock

Transformation of US relations with Cuba has implications for few remaining countries that lack normal diplomatic ties with United States - especially Iran
More

Poll: US Support Grows for Obama's Push to Boost Cuba Ties

Forty-one percent of Americans say United States should lift the embargo, which began more than 50 years, according to a poll conducted between Dec. 18-22
More

Brazil's Rousseff Stands by Petrobras CEO

President says she has no plans to replace chief executive officer of state-run oil firm, saying there is no evidence senior management involved in graft scandal
More