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With ten weeks left Brazilian presidential race remains technically tied

Monday, July 26th 2010 - 03:32 UTC
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President Lula da Silva compared Ms Rousseff with Jesus Christ President Lula da Silva compared Ms Rousseff with Jesus Christ

With only two and a half months left for October 3 presidential election the ruling party candidate, Dilma Rousseff and Jose Serra from the opposition remain in a technical tie according to an opinion poll released over the weekend. The Datafolha poll showed Rousseff with 36% of voter intention against 37% for former Sao Paulo state Governor Serra.

A Datafolha poll earlier in June showed Serra with 39%, two percentage points ahead of Rousseff, which means President Lula da Silva’s hand picked candidate also lost a point.

Former Environment Minister Marina Silva of the Green Party climbed to 10% from 9% in the latest Datafolha poll published by Folha de Sao Paulo.

The undecided remained at 10% and those who plan to vote blank or annul their ballots, 4%, while the rest of small parties shared 3%. The poll has a plus/minus two percentage points margin and polled 10.905 people between July 20 and 23.

Rousseff and Serra have been in a virtual tie for the last three months, with poll results fluctuating in response to their campaign advertisement on TV. All polls show that Rousseff, Lula da Silva's former chief of staff, has closed a gap on Serra as large as 20 percentage points since December.

She has benefited mostly from the support of the enormously popular Lula da Silva and breakneck economic expansion that is creating millions of jobs this year.

The results contrast with a Vox Populi poll on Friday that showed Rousseff with a lead of 8 percentage points over Serra. Some analysts said the difference may be due to diverging polling samples.

However it seems that none of the leading candidates is going to manage the 50% of ballots plus one to avoid a run-off, when polls show there is also a technical tie although Ms Rousseff figures with 46% vote intention and Serra, 45%.

The presidential campaign began officially last July 6 when candidates were allowed to organize rallies, caravans and other street demonstrations plus publicity in the internet. Television remains restricted until August 17. A round of debates has also been scheduled but a timetable has yet to be agreed.

Meantime President Lula da Silva on the campaign trail in support of her protégé compared Ms Rousseff with Jesus Christ for having been arrested and tortured by the military regime in the seventies.

Speaking in Pernambuco Lula da Silva said that “this woman was arrested for fighting for freedom when it was banned. This woman was viciously torture and there’s nothing worse that torture. You know that because Jesus Christ was also tortured”.

Ms Rousseff in her early twenties belonged to the Armed Revolutionary Vanguard Palmares. She was detained while doing her assigned duty: looking after weapons from the group. During 22 days she was exposed to water boarding, beatings, electric shocks and was finally released in 1972. Opposition candidate Serra was forced into exile.

“The scars of her body have closed but what is really fantastic is that the injuries to the soul and her conscience have also healed”, stressed the Brazilian president.

Categories: Politics, Brazil.

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  • Forgetit87

    I wonder why Mercopress likes using unfavourable pictures to portray Ms Rousseff. And why it says Serra and R are tied when a poll divulged at the same time as that of Datafolha says otherwise. Well...
    R and S remain technically tied only for Datafolha. This institute has been divulging that same result ever since mid-May. And that is suspicious as public knowledge of R's campaign has significantly increased since then.

    Datafolha came to the public eye when, in April, it divulged numbers that showed S had a 10-12% advantage over R. At that time two other polling institutes, Sensus and Vox Populi, showed two completely different results. Sensus showed a tie; Vox Populi, a slight advantage of 4% for Serra. It's noteworthy that even columinists of Folha de São Paulo - a daily that belongs to the same umbrella group as Datafolha, the Grupo Folha - couldn't explain the results Datafolha insisted in publishing. Then, a NGO, the Movimento dos Sem Mídia, presented to the Electoral Supreme Court a representation that asked the Electoral Public Ministry to oversee the polling procedures of the four greatest institutes - Ibope, Vox Populi, Datafolha and Sensus. By May, a month later, that terrific advantage S supposedly had over R has disappeared from Datafolha's newest numbers.

    What I'm trying to say is that Datafolha's numbers are not trustworthy. They are biased, and biased in favour of Serra. Its results for some states - for instance, Rio de Janeiro and Pernambuco - contrast with all the results local insitutes have been publishing for those places.

    Jul 26th, 2010 - 09:06 am 0
  • harrier61

    Only one important poll. October 3.

    Jul 27th, 2010 - 11:26 am 0
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