News from Brazil

Politics & Government

In Brazil on November 5, 2010 at 1:37 pm


Lula propelled Dilma Rousseff from obscurity to the presidency. Continuing his work while proving she is her own woman will not be easy. The Economist analyses the new president of Brazil.

The woman elected to be Brazil’s first female president has promised to make gender equality a priority. Dilma Rousseff said she wanted parents to be able to tell their daughters: “Yes, a woman can” (BBC).

Despite the assertions of her critics, the woman already known to Brazilians simply as Dilma is no beginner. Those critics and some of her soundly defeated opponents are fond of saying that because she had never run before for elected office she might not have the political skills to manage Brazil’s fractious Congress or even her ten party coalitions. But this overlooks the long and remarkable road that brought her from being a guerilla combating Brazil’s military regimes of the 1960s to jail and torture, to getting her degree in economics to a path of local government leading to Lula’s cabinet to his invaluable chief of staff (Foreign Policy).

Another author in the same magazine is waiting for the Dilmismo to begin (Foreign Policy).

Ahead of the presidential, congressional and state elections on 3 October, BBC Brasil asked a range of experts for their views on the challenges facing the country’s next leader (BBC).

“Rousseff will have much more work to do than Lula. Fortunately for Brazilians, this suits her style and personality. Unfortunately for Rousseff, the more she acts, the more she will divide interests and the more rapidly her popularity will erode”. Read the full column of Alexandre Marinis at Bloomberg.

Dilma Rousseff named a market-friendly transition team as she prepares to take the helm of a booming economy threatened by heavy government spending and an overvalued currency (Mercopress).

Some key names in her inner circle who could get cabinet posts, based on information from sources close to Rousseff and analysts, can be found at Reuters.

German editorialists were left pondering what a Rousseff presidency would really look like, and several encouraged the newly-elected leader to follow in the footsteps of the man US President Barack Obama has called “the most popular politician on Earth” (Der Spiegel).

While not all who voted for Marina Silva were necessarily motivated by environment concerns, the environment will inevitably figure prominently in Ms Rousseff’s agenda when she takes office on 1 January (BBC).

Kirchner  seemed like the likely winner of Argentina’s next Presidential election, and his death keeps analysts guessing about the country’s future. Argentina’s troubles provide a powerful lesson to Brazil.  They reaffirm Brazil’s  strategy of betting on institutions, and not on individuals, to keep the country on track (Post-Western World).

Expansive government spending, growing intervention in natural resource industries such as oil and mining, and volatile political support for Rousseff are among the risks to watch in Brazil over the next year (Reuters).


Brazil will be looking to fight a “currency war” it sees underway between the United States and China that is threatening its export sector, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said (France24).

Dilma said she hoped for mutual respect in her relationship with the United States and praised US President Barack Obama (France24).

A draft resolution bill of the National Congress to renew and expand the Brazilian representation in the Mercosul Parliament (Parlasul) will be in the agenda of the first session after the elections of the collegiate, scheduled for November 10 (Senado Federal).

Following the death of former Argentine president Nestor Kirchner, the Union of South American Nations, Unasur must find a new consensus leader and the outstanding figure and possible candidate is Brazilian president Lula da Silva recognized as a great promoter of regional integration (Mercopress).


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Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he would decide a multibillion-dollar fighter jet tender soon with his successor, Dilma Rousseff (Defense News).

Brazilian and Argentine Defense ministers Nelson Jobim and Nilda Garré
signed a Declaration of Intent regarding the South American neighbor’s participation in the development program of the Embraer KC-390 military transport jet.  Chile, Colombia, Portugal, and the Czech Republic have already begun discussions to establish the conditions for their participation in the development and production of the new military transport jet. In July, the Brazilian Air Force revealed its intention to acquire 28 of the jets. With Argentina joining the negotiations, this could result in the aggregated sale of 60 KC-390 airplanes to the air forces of these six countries (Embraer, pdf).

Sao Paulo’s Federal Prosecution has opened a process to determine the alleged responsibility of four retired military personnel accused of involvement in six killings and torturing 20 people among which president-elect Dilma Rousseff (Mercopress).