Dilma Rousseff re-elected president of Brazil

Dilma Rousseff has been re-elected the President of Brazil by a narrow margin. Dilma Rousseff’s Workers’ Party has been in power in Brazil since 2002. Rousseff has been in power since 2010. With this year’s win, Rousseff will act as President for the next four years.

  • She won the runoff with 51.6% of the votes.
  • She had a slim, three-point margin over the centrist candidate Aecio Neves. Neves is more pro-business than Rousseff.
  • Her win has been credited mainly to the work against inequality and poverty carried out by the Workers’ Party since 2003, and especially under her predecessor.
  • The election split Brazil almost evenly in two, along lines of social class and geography. Rousseff is popular in the poorer northern states, while her opponent from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party is more popular with the wealthier and more developed southern parts of Brazil.
  • The Workers’ Party had a lead of 12 points over the Brazilian Social Democracy Party in 2010, which has fallen to three in 2014.

Response of the financial markets

The announcement of the election verdict led to the tumbling of Brazil’s financial markets. There are doubts as to whether Rousseff will be capable of restoring confidence in the economy and maintain political support in a sharply divided nation.

Brazil’s economy, was growing at a rate of 7.5% before Rousseff’s term, but is expected to grow at less than 1% this year. Increased inflation has also become a major problem in Brazil.

Decreasing popularity of Rousseff

Initially, Rousseff was very popular thanks to multiple welfare programmes she and her predecessor and mentor had implemented.

However, dissatisfaction with a sluggish economy, corruption and poor public services has been increasing at a steady rate. Also, multiple protests have taken place in Brazil against the government.

About Dilma Rousseff

  • Born in 1947, Dilma grew up in an upper-middle class household in Belo Horizonte. Her father, Pedro Rousseff, was an ex-communist and Bulgarian immigrant.
  • When she was young, Dilma aspired to be a ballerina. However, she joined the left-wing movement against Brazil’s military dictatorship that had seized power in 1964.
  • In 1970, she was caught and imprisoned for three years, where she was tortured for her role in the underground resistance.
  • She, later, fought cancer in 2009.
  • She rose to prominence as the protege of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the former President of Brazil.
  • In 2010, she failed to get enough votes in the first round to win outright, but went on to beat her opponent, Jose Serra of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, in the second round with more than 56% of the votes.
  • Rousseff is the first woman to become President of Brazil.

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Categories: International Current Affairs 2017

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