News / Americas

Brazil Candidate's Death Makes Runoff More Likely

FILE - Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate Eduardo Campos campaigns in Brasilia, Brazil, Aug. 6, 2014.
FILE - Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate Eduardo Campos campaigns in Brasilia, Brazil, Aug. 6, 2014.
Reuters

The death of presidential candidate Eduardo Campos makes it even more likely Brazil's October election goes to a second round, and could put President Dilma Rousseff under more pressure as she seeks a second term.

Campos died in a plane crash on Wednesday. His running mate Marina Silva is expected to pick up the baton and run for president herself. She is a popular figure who won 19.3 percent of the vote when she ran in 2010.

Silva has greater name recognition and more supporters than Campos had, given that the campaign is still in its early stages. Her candidacy could give his Brazilian Socialist Party a boost and deprive Rousseff of votes she needs to avoid a second-round runoff against her main contender, Senator Aecio Neves.

“The chances of a second round have increased a lot, because Marina Silva will draw more votes away from Rousseff than she will from Aecio Neves,” said David Fleischer, a professor of politics at the University of Brasilia.

However, some observers speculated that a significant surge for Silva could put her ahead of Neves and even knock the pro-business centrist out in the first round of voting.

Silva has 10 days to register as the presidential candidate of Campos' party. She is expected to do so but it is by no means a given.

In the event Silva opts against running for president, Rousseff could win the election outright on Oct. 5, analysts said.

In a runoff between Rousseff and Neves, Fleischer said more of Silva's supporters would vote for Neves. Even though they might not like his PSDB party, “they like Rousseff even less.”

Brazil's financial markets were thrown into turmoil on Wednesday as some investors sold stocks on fears that Silva could edge out Neves, who has promised more market-friendly policies.

Neves has drawn closer to Rousseff in recent weeks but his campaign has so far failed to capitalize on a widespread desire for change among discontented Brazilians that is reflected in Rousseff's high rejection numbers.

A Silva candidacy “would make the election much more competitive,” said Joao Augusto de Castro Neves, of the political risk consultancy Eurasia. “It would make the election more difficult for Neves as both Neves and Silva have chances to go to a run-off vote.”

In a brief news conference with PSB party leaders, a grief-stricken Silva expressed condolences to Campos' family but made no mention of her political plans.

The daughter of illiterate rubber-tappers, Silva grew up in the rainforest, learned to read as a teenager, made it to university and became Brazil's youngest senator at age 36. In the 2010 presidential election, she ran on an environmental platform and came third with 19.6 million votes.

An evangelical with a feisty campaign style, Silva is an unconventional figure in Brazilian politics. Her conservationist advocacy has earned the wrath of Brazil's powerful agribusiness sector, yet Silva can appeal to conservative voters with her defense of family values and opposition to abortion.

A poll last week showed Neves has 23 percent of voter support behind 38 percent for Rousseff. The IBOPE poll showed Neves had narrowed Rousseff's lead in a likely second-round runoff to just six points.

But if Silva decides not to step into Campos' shoes, Rousseff stands to gain most, said political scientist Claudio Couto of the Getulio Vargas Foundation think tank.

“If she does not run, the chances increase that the election will be decided in the first round,” Couto said.

You May Like

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change More

2014 Sees Dramatic Uptick in Boko Haram Abductions

Militants suspected in latest mass kidnapping of over 100 people in Gumsuri, Nigeria on Sunday More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacksi
X
December 19, 2014 12:45 AM
The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Putin Says Russian Economy Will Emerge Stronger

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said his country's sinking economy will not only recover but also become stronger, despite falling oil prices and Western sanctions over Ukraine. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Detained Turkish Journalists Follow Teachings of US-Based Preacher

The Turkish government’s jailing of critical journalists has sparked international condemnation and is being seen as an effort to undermine the followers of an ailing Turkish preacher based in the United States. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.

All About America

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

Raul Castro Steps Out of Brother's Shadow With US Deal

Cuban president scores diplomatic triumph, surge in support with this week's deal that ends decades of hostility with United States
More

US Report: Immigration Officials' Apprehensions Rose in 2014

Apprehensions of Mexicans fall 14 percent; those of individuals from other countries, predominantly in Central America, rise 68 percent
More

Strife, Mutual Interests Mark Cuba-US Ties

Island nation was once a vacation destination for Americans; over years, many Cubans sought refuge across the Florida Straits
More

Video Miami Cubans Divided on New US Policy

While older, more conservative Cuban Americans have promoted anti-Castro political movement for years, younger generations say economically, it is time for change
More

Video Cuba Deal Is Major Victory for Pope

Role of Francis hailed throughout US, Latin America - though some Cuban-American Catholics have mixed feelings
More

Cubans Imagine New, More Prosperous Life Without an Old Foe

News of the historic shift in US-Cuban relations echoed quickly through the Spanish colonial plazas of Old Havana this week
More