President Dilma Rousseff said on Wednesday she will seek re-election in October, even though some are calling for the return of her popular predecessor president Lula da Silva. Rousseff, who belongs to Lula's Workers Party and was his protegée, said she hoped to have the support of all the parties allied with her government.
But if this support doesn't exist, we will still go forward, she said in an interview with local radio stations in the northeast.
Lawmakers from the small Party of the Republic, which is part of the ruling coalition, said Monday they wanted to see the popular Lula da Silva return as a candidate in the October elections.
Rousseff, however, said she was paying no attention to them and that her priority was to govern this country.
Her re-election bid also came with some 'goodies' for voters who have benefitted from the Lula da Silva and Rousseff years of government.
In a speech broadcast on the eve of Labor Day, Rousseff said she signed a decree to lower the income tax burden on workers and a 10% increase in the value of the Bolsa Familia family stipend program for millions of Brazilians.
This will be an important indirect salary gain and more money in the pockets of workers, Rousseff said. I also vow to continue with policies that increase the minimum wage, which has brought so many benefits for millions of workers.
Poorer voters, millions of whom benefited from rapid economic growth and expanded social safety net programs under Lula da Silva, are the main electoral base for Rousseff's center-left Workers' Party.
It was not immediately clear what impact the measures could have on Brazil's weakening fiscal accounts. The decree increases by 4.5% the income bands used to tax workers, meaning most workers will end up paying less income.
Difficulties to tackle inflation have led to the Lula Return movement and also coincide with a sharp drop in Rousseff's popularity, even though polls still show her leading the field of potential candidates.
A poll released Tuesday found 37% would vote for her, compared to 21.6% for social democrat Aecio Neves and 11.8% for socialist Eduardo Campos.
Rousseff, a former leftist guerrilla who was plucked from bureaucratic obscurity by Lula da Silva to become his chief of staff, is Brazil's first female president.