Brazil’s ruling party presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff accused the newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo of defamation for publishing an article linking her to alleged irregularities during her time as an official and, in this way, joined the criticisms against certain media formulated by President Lula da Silva.
I want to protest vehemently against the bias of newspaper Folha de Sao Paulo, which acted in bad faith Rousseff declared, who is winning in the election polls for next October 3, followed by social-democrat José Serra.
The daily published that there are suspicions regarding a company created in 1992 apparently with the objective of winning a tender in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, where Rousseff was Energy secretary.
Years later, the same firm had made contracts with the federal government when Rousseff was President Lula da Silva's minister.
Visibly irritated, the aspiring presidential candidate accused the newspaper of committing a scandalous distortion by hiding that its bank secret was audited and approved by the Court of Auditors, dismissing any irregularity.
All of my accounts were approved and this data are to be published in my twitter, the candidate promised.
Members of the opposition front, integrated by the social-democratic and democratic parties, linked Rousseff with last Thursday's resignation of cabinet chief Erenice Guerra, involved in a complaint regarding a network of influence peddling.
Indio da Costa, candidate to vice-president of said coalition, declared that Rousseff, Civil minister until March, was either complicit or remiss before a group that allegedly demanded the payment of commissions in order to facilitate the renewal of contracts with the State-run company Correos.
The director of Correos, former Colonel Eduardo Artur Rodrigues, resigned from his post due to the fact that he is suspected of having ties with the case that toppled former minister Guerra and splashed Rousseff. In the meantime, newspapers published on Sunday and Monday more articles regarding suspicions that involve the Civil Ministry (cabinet chief), which was led by Rousseff between 2005 and 2010.
Rousseff's declarations against Folha de Sao Paulo were her first energetic onslaught against media since the beginning of the electoral campaign, and contrasted with her usual conciliatory speech. But this was not, however, the first controversy over the behaviour of the press on behalf of the Workers Party, founded in 1980 by Lula da Silva.
During the weekend, in a rally in favour of Rousseff, Lula accused the main media outlets of backing social-democrat Serra, the main opposition candidate.
In this rally, celebrated in Sao Paulo, the president said that not only will we beat our adversaries in the elections, but also some newspapers and magazines that act as if they were a political party with a candidate they don't have the courage to recognize as such, in allusion to Serra.
These media are not democratic and they think they are. This government is democratic, which allows everyone to say what they want. I won't be the one to censor them, it will be the reader, the listener, the viewer who is to determine what a lie is and what is the truth, Lula stated.
His sayings were criticized by the National Association of Newspapers, which represents the main companies of the sector, and by the Brazilian Order of Lawyers.