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Montevideo, February 23rd 2024 - 03:34 UTC



Cardoso challenges President Lula's “invincibility”

Wednesday, December 15th 2004 - 20:00 UTC
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Former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso said Tuesday that President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's strong popularity does not mean he will be “unbeatable” in Brazil's 2006 elections.

Mr. Cardoso's statements targeted the euphoria of Lula's leftist Workers Party in the wake of a new opinion poll showing that the president's personal approval rating rose from 58,8% in September to 65,4% this month.

The quarterly survey, commissioned by the National Transportation Confederation and carried out by the public opinion polling company Sensus, also showed an increase in the positive impression of Mr. Lula's government, from 41,3% to 44,5%.

The survey results were based on interviews with 2,000 people across Brazil between December 7 and 9.

Analysts interpreted the opinion poll results as indicating that if the election was held now, Mr. Lula would easily win a second term.

"The bad part of all this is the feeling the PT (Workers Party) comes across with sometimes, because they think they're unbeatable and they are not. I beat them twice. I won't defeat them a third time, but others might", Mr. Cardoso said after a political rally of his PSDB party in Belo Horizonte.

The former president who ruled for two consecutive mandates from 1995 to 2002 was referring to the last two elections in which he defeated Mr. Lula, in 1994 and 1998.

Mr. Cardoso recalled that he left the Finance Ministry ten years ago to run for president, winning in the first round of balloting, despite polls that showed him with an approval rating of barely 6% against the then-union leader Lula's 30%.

Mr. Cardoso, 73, insisted he would not run for president a third time, although other leaders in his party said publicly Tuesday that he was still the PSDB's top candidate.

Categories: Mercosur.

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