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

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

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

US Seeks to Break Up Drug Ring

Alleged drug ring accused of smuggling cocaine and laundering money from Venezuela to the United States
More

Senators Introduce Bill to End Ban on Americans Traveling to Cuba

Some Cuban American lawmakers strongly oppose Obama administration’s sudden shift in US policy towards Cuba, others say it is past time to end embargo
More

At Mexican Hospital, Rescuers Search for Blast Victims

At least 2 people killed and dozens wounded, including 22 children, when tanker truck explodes outside building
More

HRW: Security Measures Erode Human Rights Worldwide

New Human Rights Watch report cites Nigeria, Iraq, Syria, Israel and the United States among nations using security concerns to justify rights violations
More

Chilean MPs Approve Measure Allowing Civil Unions

Bill will give many legal rights afforded to married couples to about two million more Chileans - mostly unmarried heterosexuals but also gay couples
More

Don't Meddle in Our Politics, Cuba's Leader Warns US

Fomenting opposition to Cuba's government will undermine efforts at normalizing bilateral relations, he says at summit in Costa Rica
More