27 Oct 2014

Brazil: After elections, a divided country

Despite against the wishes of almost half of Brazil’s voters, President Dilma Rousseff won reelection yesterday and will lead the country for more four years. The Workers' Party (PT), her leftist party, is already leading the country for 12 years and after this coming 4 years, ex-President Lula and her sponsor, has the chance to go back to power for more 4 years.

Dilma Rousseff, 67, who was a Marxist guerrilla in the 1970’s, overcame growing dissatisfaction with the economy, poor public services and mainly, accusations of corruption committed by partners of her Party. The last scandal of corruption involves Brazil's state-owned oil giant Petrobras where close persons of her party have been incessantly accused of embezzlement.

With this result where she had 51,64% of valid votes, against her opponent Aecio Neves who had 48,36%, we see a country divided. Almost half of the country would like to see changes ahead and the other half thinks this government may continue for more four years. Rousseff will have to work hard to bring the country together and, it means, to revive growth in economy that has gone stagnant.

Investors have received this outcome with pessimism as the as stock market has been slumping today more than 7%. In the last years, inflation has been rising faster and a recession is on the spot, so her election is seen as something very bad to the market. Dilma will need to take emergencies measures to secure this tumbling economy. 

Despite all this, she shrugs off market pessimism saying that it is nothing but tantrums made by speculators. Talking about it, her foreign policy advisor Marco Aurelio Garcia said that investors should relax and "take tranquilizers", as the Economy will grow stronger than ever from the next year on.

She also pledges to deepen social benefits, which is the main reason she has gotten so many votes in the poorest states of the country. The flagship of his campaign is the “Bolsa Família programme, a sort of food stamp where people get money from the government, monthly, without needing of work. It is also one of the reasons for the “division” of the country. Half of the country believes that instead of giving money to the poor, the government should give them work, and the other half, of course, prefers to receive money without work.

However, with a country divided in two parts, she cannot radicalise in her measures to contain the drop of economy as well as to take money out from the middle class to help the ones in need. She also must rethink her help to Cuba, Venezuela and some African countries with “top secret” projects that we, Brazilians, pay and cannot know in advance why our money are being invested in these countries. Talking about it, as soon as the result came about, an excited greeting came from the Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, who said in his Twitter account: “Congratulations, Dilma, for your courage before such a devil (referring to the disputes on TV, against Aecio Neves). The Brazilian people did not fail with history. A thousand hugs from the brotherhood”.

Now, we have to wait and see what future reserve for us. The President must reunite the country urgently and it means to bring poor and riches working together for a better Brazil. The result of her work will define the next President in four years, and it’s well known that PT wants to remain in power in the next election by bringing back ex-President Lula to the presidency.

For the time being, we have two Brazil. One tired of scandals of corruption and concerned about economy and so many other problems and one Brazil that thinks corruption is less important than receiving a food stamp.
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