euronews’ Miguel Sardo: ‘‘At the end of two mandates, Lula da Silva, is one of the most popular politicians ever in Brazil. The country appears ready to re-elect him even if he isn’t a candidate.
Political science professor, Maria do Socorro Braga, from Sao Carlos federal university, joins us from Sao Paulo. Professor: Is this election a kind of referendum on Lula’s politics?’‘
Professor María do Socorro Braga:’‘Yes, since the start of the campaign Lula has hammered home how well his government has been assessed. The government’s popularity was already high and now they’ve reached an approval rating of 80 percent. Lula has managed to transfer to his candidate a large part of this popular support.’‘
euronews’ Miguel Sardo:’‘In spite of the lead Dilma Rousseff has in the polls, there remain doubts if she’ll be elected in the first round. Why isn’t Lula’s support enough to convince Brazil’s electorate?
Professor María do Socorro Braga:’‘Lula’s support has been extremely effective. Why do I say that? Because the government’s candidate, Dilma Rousseff has no experience, in terms of the relationship with Brazil’s electorate. In all presidential battles this is very important and she doesn’t have this experience. Despite lacking that, since the the start of the campaign, even a little before that, she’s succeeded. In August, she managed to create some momentum, attracting large popular support in Brazil.
It’s clear that most of this popularity is down to the current president and his social policies.’‘
euronews’ Miguel Sardo: ‘‘Professor, let’s talk about the social democrat candidate Jose Serra. Who supports him? Where will he get votes from? Will it just be traditional social democrat supporters or are some people dissatisfied with Lula da Silva?’‘
Professor María do Socorro Braga:’‘No, I think those voters disappointed with Lula will turn to Marina Silva. Marina is the third candidate, the third way. She’s gone up in the polls in the last month and continues to climb, whereas Jose Serra remains stable and is even losing support.’‘
euronews’ Miguel Sardo:’‘Professor, at the international level Lula is associated with environmental protection, and yet during this campaign, Marina Silva, the candidate who quit Lula’s workers party is standing on an environmental platform. Is the enviroment a real concern for Brazilian voters?’‘
Professor María do Socorro Braga:’‘This is a global problem created by the capitalist system and greenhouse gases. It’s an international problem that goes beyond borders. The Lula government has attempted to address this concern and it is a part of Dilma’s – the worker party candidate’s -electoral manifesto. But Marina joined the Green party because of its environmental programme, sustainable development and protection of the forests. As soon as she ran for public office Marina picked up the enviromental banner and when she finally quit Lula’s government she brought the green party with her.’‘
Euronews’ Miguel Sardo: ‘‘Thank you Maria do Socorro Braga, political science professor in Sao Paulo. Brazil will say goodbye to Lula da Silva on Sunday, but the president has already said he will continue to work against poverty, creating a foundation to fight famine in Africa.’‘