While Brazilians go to the polls on Sunday, October 5 for the first round of the presidential election (the possible second round is scheduled for 26), the suspense is surprisingly high after a campaign marked by twists.

“There were two campaigns, remarked last week Gaspard Estrada, political analyst specializing in Brazil. The first lasted until August 13, during which the outgoing President Dilma Rousseff was leading the race, never go below 35% of voting intentions face Aecio Neves, candidate of the PSDB [Social Democrat, ed]. The second began on August 13 with the death in an airplane accident Eduardo Campos, candidate of the PSB [Socialist Party , ed] and the opening match of his running mate Marina Silva “- as in the United States, Brazil’s presidential is by “ticket” with a candidate for the vice-presidency.

While Eduardo Campos dragged less than 10% in the polls, the odds of Marina Silva flew immediately: it reaches 30% in the polls and even ahead of Rousseff in the event of a second round between the two women.

Marina Silva is certainly well known in the country more than was Eduardo Campos. It has already been a candidate in 2010 for the Green Party, making a score by more than 19%. His personal history is another key advantage: the frail black woman of 56 years comes from a very poor family of eleven children, harvesters latex Amazon. She herself worked on plantations and has learned to read at age 16. A devout Catholic and Protestant (and anti-abortion activist), environmentalist convinced she campaigned for a time next to Chico Mendes, joined the Workers’ Party (PT), became MP, Senator and Minister of the Environment in 2008, before slamming the door government and the PT in 2009, to join the Green Party and then trying in vain to create his own party, Sustainable network, and join the PSB late.

Liberal ideas and tenors business

Very charismatic, she quickly became the darling of the media, including internationally, perfectly embodying this “third way”, this “new policy” that the BSP wants to promote a highly interventionist between PT and embodied by the center-right PSDB. Agreeing with it much of an evangelical electorate soaring in the country (22%) but also a lot of undecided, she also defends, in this campaign, more liberal ideas, for this amazing woman on the left, advocating the independence of the Central Bank or denouncing the state control over public banks Banco do Brasil and Caixa

Economica Federal.

Revolve around her tenors of business such Guilherme Leal, president billionaire cosmetics group Natura, who was his running mate in 2010 and is still one of its main donors, or Neca Setubal, heir to the largest bank Private Brazilian Itau. Clean to attract companies positioning but that blurs a little commitment. Not to mention the vice president that he chose the PSB, Beto Albuquerque, active supporter of GM crops, which it opposed there is still little.

“It appeals to a diverse electorate and inconsistent, brings together all anti Dilma,” recognizes the lawyer Charles Henry Chenut firm Franco-Brazilian Chenut Oliveira Santiago, an adviser to the foreign trade. It is perhaps both its strength and its weakness.

Gaspard Estrada asked it a week ago if she had not met its “electoral roof” . In fact, the polls began to turn late last week, giving back to Dilma Rousseff a lead of more and more clear to Marina Silva. According to a poll of Datafolha October 2, it might even be deprived of the second round, Aecio Neves regaining ground with 21% of the vote Sunday, against 24% in Marina Silva, Dilma Rousseff now hovering at 40% and is still given in the second round winning by a margin of seven points, regardless of the opponent .

I must say that given the wave “Marina,” a distraught PT out the heavy artillery, armed with twelve years of rule and a strong presence on the vast territory of Brazil. “PT has become incredibly effective, its many spin doctors know how to find the weak points of the enemy, ” says Olivier Dabène, professor at Sciences Po and a specialist in Latin America. Contradictions or reversals Marina Silva have been lampooned relentlessly, without excluding low blows, such as the false accusation of calling into question the “Bolsa Familia” emblematic paid to help the poorest families, introduced by Lula and perpetuated by Dilma Rousseff.

In candidate debates, the president has made ​​ultraoffensive not without results. Always popular, Lula has also wet the shirt. “The party and the entire state administration is a powerful winning machine policy for the incumbent, is a most difficult for the challenger to overcome obstacles , said Olivier Dabène. phenomenon observed in many countries in Latin America. ”

Yet the economic balance of Dilma Rousseff is not terrible and the middle classes now show their weariness after twelve years of PT, claiming more money for education, health and transport. The organization of the World Cup -hormis humiliation of defeat in the semifinal against Germany (1-7) – was not chaos announced, but little benefit to listing . Dilma Rousseff also like Louault Frederick, professor of political science at the Free University of Brussels emphasizes electoral geography is for ten years, linked to the distribution of Bolsa Familia: gold, the majority of beneficiaries this assistance live in the northern states of the country, less populous than richer, southern.

The current scandal involving national oil company Petrobras should also have destabilizing President. Paulo Roberto Costa, a former director of refining, jailed since June, told police a vast system of bribes paid between 2004 and 2012 to officials of the ruling coalition, including the Minister of Energy, the treasurer of the PT, the presidents of the Senate and the House of Representatives and several governors (including, incidentally, the late Eduardo Campos). Revelations relayed by the magazine Veja, sensitivity right.

Of course, nothing is official yet and Dilma Rousseff (who was nevertheless Energy Minister Lula) vehemently denied having any information about these malpractices. This is the hugest scandal from that of mensalão in 2005, which had splashed (and taken to prison) many leaders of the PT but was miraculously spared Lula, dubbed the Teflon president.
In this case Petrobras superimposed in another, that the repurchase by the company in 2007 to an American refinery, Pasadena, at crazy prices (a kind of case-Areva Uramin to the power 10). An investigation has been ongoing since March and could, too, reach Dilma Rousseff.

While these cases contribute to the disenchantment of some of the popular towards the PT, which is revealed as corrupt as other parties classes. But the revelation did not change significantly curves popularity or rejection of outgoing notices Gaspard Estrada. For many observers, this relative indifference is related to the overall feeling of Brazilians that all political parties are rotten and that responsibilities are largely diluted.

Perhaps, if it passes the first round, Marina Silva does more frontally attack his opponent on these issues. But it will be difficult, given his background, him to appear in anti-system candidate. “And Dilma Rousseff, who turned seven of his ministers at the start of term, may enforce its determination to fight against corruption,” said Olivier Dabène.
The famous sentence of a former politician, Paulo Maluf, a former mayor and governor of Sao Paulo in the 70s and 80s, pretty much sums up the general climate is cynicism and disenchantment: “In Roubo, but cooking feat” (” I fly but I act “), he declared. Despite many pots, it was also able to get re-elected MP in 2006.