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A strategic response

The Brazilian electoral-political framework is not easy to be understood by foreigners.

The Workers' Party (PT) has been in power since 2003, with the election of a trade unionist, Lula, that even outside the formal power since January 2011, is still the main leader of the PT and governs its actions.

The PT was formed out of opposition to the military dictatorship, along with the then MDB (Brazilian Democratic Movement). From it, by splitting, arose PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party).

Lula, after two terms, successfully led the election of Dilma Rousseff, and also repeated the feat managing to elect an almost electorally unknown as Mayor of the City of São Paulo, and intends to repeat the miracle in the next election for Governor of the State of São Paulo.
There’s a gossip that he may have said “If I wish I can make even a pole elect”…

His main goal now is to have Rousseff reelected, to maintain political hegemony for another 4 years, after which he, personally survive and if there is no other strong candidate of the PT, will run for election. In Brazil there is possibility of reelection for another term and there is no impediment for a former president to run again.

But over and above this, his goal under personal idiosyncrasy is to avoid that the PSDB, former ally against the military dictatorship, return to power.

There are no major programmatic differences between the two parties, but in the way to participate in the elections and how to conduct government.
There is a deep hatred of the historical “petistas”, against the former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso to have delayed the conquest of power by the PT. They still think that FHC betrayed them and took the place that should be of Lula in 1996, when he was first elected, defeating Lula.
Even having defeated the PSDB candidate in 2002, the deadly hatred continues, despite this party being always divided and not having a strong candidate to face the current President.

DilmaRousseffwas living in a tranquil perspective of re-election, based on the votes of the poor that PT benefits from social programs, but two facts undermined her position: the resurgence of inflation, which the people call the “carestia” (sort of "famine" - rising of prices of what one has to buy) and then large demonstrations in the streets of major cities, initiated by angry young people, but that mobilized the urban middle class.

The poorest were only as the spectators, but all have an obligation to vote. This is the trump card of the PT, which has greater ability to affect the hearts and minds of the poorestvoters.

But in the midst of these demonstrations the people found a third figure, characterized by honesty and distune with the set of Brazilian politicians, almost all "tail stuck" and defenders of the status quo and their privileges:
Marina Silva, a former rubber tapper, advocate of environmental causes and Evangelical, a PT member from its beginning, believing in the innovative and ethical propositions of the party. When it abandonedits ethical proposals, she left the party and in the last elections in 2010, reached 20 million votes.

By becoming an alternative to the presidential election she was seen as a PT enemy, and Lula acted to derail her candidacy.
Taking advantage of amateurism in mounting her party, the “Rede” (Network), Lula maneuvered so that the Regional Electoral Registrars retain the confirmation of registration forms in the party, and got the Electoral Court reject, on grounds of legal bureaucracy, the record of her new party.

She was left with two basic options: join another party to keep her candidacy for president, in this case preferably the PPS (Popular Socialist Party), former Brazilian Communist Party, still leftist, but allied to the opposition to the Government. Or quitting the application while maintaining a programmatic coherence and continue the struggle to legalize her party, became clandestine.

That was the main hope of the PT, taking her out of the electoral race, so as not to disturb the re-election of Rousseff.

But surprisingly, she adopted a third way, more threatening to Dilma: she  teamed up with one of the alternative candidates against re-election of Rousseff, Eduardo Campos, Governor of the State of Pernambuco and president of his party, the PSB (Brazilian Socialist Party).

Until recently a member of the governing coalition, the PSB dissented with PT and aims to be an alternative to the dichotomy PT x PSDB.

Marina Silva entirely shuffled the framework of electoral competition, and was a strategic move to counterattack the PT moves to derail her candidacy.
No longer will be presidential candidate, but strengthens an alternative candidate.
She did exactly what the PT did not want and did not desire.
Treated as "enemy" by PT she hit back.

But the game continues and there is still exactly one year to the elections.


Anyway, the positions on the chess board changed and Rousseff now has two strong opponents, Campos, PSD, and AécioNeves, PSDB, that will play combined, but in different fronts, with a common goal: wear out Roussef’s popularity.
tradução : Flávio Musa de Freitas Guimarães

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