Brazilian president Lula da Silva came out strongly in support of Internet for political campaigning when the Senate is ready to vote a bill which establishes serious restrictions to such a communications tool.
“The use of the net in political campaigns must be free and unrestricted; people need to know who their candidates are” said Lula da Silva from the northern state of Roraima.
“An election can’t be something so scary for people to want to limit or ban information”, underlined Lula da Silva.
“All our lives we have struggled for political freedom, freedom of expression, freedom of communication, freedom of the press and now they are thinking in blocking those basic rights that make to the essence of democracy”.
Lula da Silva’s comments are part of a national debate in Brazil on the use of internet which triggered the drafting of a restrictive project currently under consideration in Congress.
The bill in Congress refers to electoral legislation with specific chapters dedicated to internet political information restrictions and a ban to all political publicity in internet.
This week the Brazilian congress must consider several amendments to the original project introduced, among others, by Senator Alizio Mercadante, head of the ruling Workers party which has a relative majority in the Senate.
The bill must be approved by October 3 in time to regulate presidential elections of 2010.
The latest public opinion polls have opposition presidential hopeful and governor of Sao Paulo, Jose Serra, leading in vote intention with 39%.
A distant runner up is Dilma Rousseff, the candidate of the ruling party and who President Lula da Silva personally picked. She figures with a 20% vote intention support.