News from Brazil

Politics & Government

In Brazil on October 29, 2010 at 9:29 am


(Nov 1st) Dilma Rousseff has convincingly won the second round of Brazil’s presidential elections, beating Jose Serra with 56% against 44%.

Votes were also cast for the election of governors in those states that failed to show clear winners three weeks ago. The PT’s Agnelo took the Federal District of Brasilia, the country’s capital, with over 66% of the votes, bringing the total of PT governors to (just) three. In both Para, Goias and three other states the opposition PSDB’s candidates won their governorships on Sunday night.

The second round of the Presidential elections showed a high abstention rate of 21%, in a country that has compulsory voting. Dilma won convincingly (56%) and consistently, scoring well in most states, even in the Southeast. A good overview of the voting in the second round can be found at Globo or Folha (with results per municipality).

Was it the high abstention rate that gave her victory or was it the “total campaign” by a plethora of sectors from society? Or a combination of both?

Mrs Rousseff still needs to work with her allies in both chambers of parliament and with a number of allied PSB and PMDB governors. By no means did the PT gain complete control of the country. And a lot of important states elected opposition PSDB or DEM governors. Mrs Rousseff will indeed have to be the President of all Brazilians, as she has stated, or at least of as many as possible.


Green Party presidential candidate Marina Silva last week decided to abstain from endorsing either of the second round candidates. This deft decision provides tacit support for Dilma, but without any of the political benefits to her new political party, her voters and supporters, or the nation as a whole. Marina’s decision may prove to be the biggest loss of all (Mark S. Langevin in Brazzil).


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Brazilian electors will be able to vote in 2012 to directly elect their first representatives in the Mercosul Parliament (Parlasul) (Senado Federal).

The Economist Intelligence Unit is predicting that in 2011 Brazil would move ahead of Italy into seventh place in the ranking of the largest world economies with a GDP of US$2 billion.

Brazil’s Finance Minister Guido Mantega will propose at the Group of 20 nations meeting next month that the International Monetary Fund create an index measuring currency manipulation (Reuters).

Brazil has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 34 percent over the past five years and virtually met its 2020 target, the government said a month before global climate talks begin in Mexico (Reuters).

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos said that both China and Brazil were eyeing investments in the Andean nation’s coal infrastructure (railway and port) to gain more access to the material (Reuters).


China may not matter quite as much as you think. The country is now the biggest export market for countries as far afield as Brazil (accounting for 12.5% of Brazilian exports in 2009), South Africa (10.3%), Japan (18.9%) and Australia (21.8%). But exports are only one component of GDP. In most economies of any size, domestic spending matters more. Thus exports to China are only 3.4% of GDP in Australia, 2.2% in Japan, 2% in South Africa and 1.2% in Brazil (The Economist).


Brazil rejects any interference of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO, in the South Atlantic or any idea of a similar organization at South Atlantic level, “O Estado de Sao Paulo” reported (Mercopress).

As Brazil emerges as a big 21st-century economy, it is developing military muscle commensurate with its expanding influence – spending billions to acquire not only cutting-edge defense hardware but also the know-how to build its own. The country’s next president will oversee much of that development (Defense News).



Canada and Brazil will enhance academic mobility and scientific cooperation under a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU will provide opportunities for research collaboration, student exchanges, short-term awards and other activities involving the two countries’ academic communities (Xinhua).

The Stem Cell Research Center of the National Cell Therapy NetWork was inaugurated with support of the BNDES, Brazil’s national investment bank. PUC/PR’s Center will develop technologies for cultivating and handling adult stem cells and will make these cells available to the RNTC for research. The Center meets the standards of Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and the cells produced may already be applied to preclinical (animal) and clinical (human) studies (BNDES).

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