Ghost of the Past or New Face for Change?

The run-off election in Brasil continues. This past Sunday, August 5, 2014 was election day in many parts of Latin America, but for Brasil it was a presidential election. The selection of Brasil’s new president is key because it will not only effect Latin America’s largest economy, but will send a message to the international community of how this newly emerged trading partner will react in the future. Will it be more open to free trade and investment, or become more nationalized and privatized with its enterprises?

With 41% of the vote, Rousseff still remains the favorite within Brasil. Rousseff has strong support among the poor, however Neves is expected to pick up the leftover votes from those who were originally voting for third place candidate, environmentalist Marina Silva.

Neves and Silva both had similar ideals for the country, such as wanting to reduce the size of government and free-up private enterprise. Neves is now taking on some of the concepts that Silva used in her campaign, for example, making use of the phrase, “a candidate for change,” one that Silva often used in her candidacy.

On the other hand, Rousseff has advertised to the people, that Neves and his alliance with the PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party) symbolize “ghosts of the past.” According to Reuters,

a reference to an austerity drive, layoffs and the privatization of state assets when his Brazilian Social Democracy Party, or PSDB, last held power from 1995-2002.

As under Rousseff’s presidency, Brasil has been in an economic rut, Neves retorted to Rousseff’s condemnation by saying,

The truth is Brazilians are far more concerned with the monsters of the present: high inflation, recession and corruption.”

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