Campaign funds in support of the Brazilian ruling coalition presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff more than double those of her main adversary, according to a report published Monday by Folha de Sao Paulo.
The funds officially declared to July 31 in support of Ms Rousseff total 24.8 million US dollars, which is “fourteen times the amount received by President Lula da Silva during his re-election campaign four years ago”.
The Folha de Sao Paulo piece was based on the monthly campaign funds’ data provided by Brazilian candidates to the Superior Electoral Tribunal, the highest office in electoral affairs.
The “generosity” of corporations clearly reflects the ample favouritism of Rousseff (supported by public opinion polls) in becoming the first woman president of Brazil and the successor of her mentor Lula da Silva.
Last Saturday less that a week after the official launching of electoral publicity in radio and television, DataFolha revealed that Ms. Rousseff leads with 47% of vote intention compared to 30% for Jose Serra. In ballots that is sufficient to conquer the presidency next October 3 with no need of a runoff at the end of the month.
Last June both candidates were technically tied but according to political analysts Ms Rousseff’s advantage is widening and has virtually assured success next October 3.
Lula da Silva, Brazil’s most popular president in the last six decades and with an astonishing 80% support for an outgoing leader, has been decisive in boosting his former cabinet chief candidacy. Since he begun participating in early July the balance quickly turned in favour of the incumbent candidate.
Meanwhile former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso who belongs to the Social Democracy party of Brazil that has Serra as its presidential hopeful said he is “concerned” with the evolution of the campaign and has suggested a “change of strategy” to counter the fall in public opinion ratings.
Cardoso and other senior members of the Social Democracy party believe Serra’s approach emphasizing his good chemistry with President Lula da Silva is backfiring.
Furthermore some “heavy-weight” allies in the party and from allied opposition groups have avoided exposing themselves in publicity spots next to Serra.
Meanwhile Lula da Silva and Ms Rousseff participated Monday in a rally at an auto plant in Sao Paulo state where the former union leader begun his political career 41 years ago.
“Since I was a metalworker before I became president, I won’t just be Dilma’s helper in making things better for these people,” the president said, promising not to forget the workers and unions when he steps down Jan. 1 after two four-year terms.
Faithful to his reputation as a charismatic leader, an informally dressed Lula da Silva embraced and conversed with several of the plant’s employees, who before starting their shift gathered around the politicians outside the factory to take pictures and express their support.
Also present at the event along with Lula and Rousseff was first lady Marisa Leticia Lula da Silva and other ruling party candidates, such as Sao Paulo gubernatorial hopeful Aloisio Mercadante and Marta Suplicy, who is running for a Senate seat.