Brazil’s 2014 Presidential Campaign features the sudden and dramatic rise of Marina Silva following the death of Eduardo Campos, presidential candidate of the Partido Socialista Brasileiro (Brazilian Socialist Party or PSB). Marina was Campos’ vice-presidential running mate, but following his death on August 13, 2014, she quickly assumed the presidential candidacy of the PSB led “Unidos Pelo Brasil” (United for Brazil) electoral coalition. Marina’s presidential candidacy triggered a dramatic change in the public opinion polls that track Brazilian voter intentions. Prior to his unfortunate death, the PSB candidate was polling at approximately 8 percent voter popularity for the first round of the election slated for October 5, 2014. Just weeks later Marina polled at 34 percent, equal to the incumbent, President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party and the “Com a Força do Povo’ (With the People’s Force) electoral coalition. Marina’s rise has greatly diminished the electoral viability of Aécio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB), known as the “Tucanos,” and the “Muda Brasil” (Change Brazil) electoral coalition. Neves’ polling numbers have dropped from approximately 22 percent to 16 by the first week of September 2014. President Dilma’s numbers have also dropped several points, although not as much as Neves.
Marina’s presidential candidacy has reignited the enthusiasm that propelled her 2010 Green Party presidential candidacy to an unexpected third place finish with some 19.3 percent of the vote in the first round. Today, her candidacy has seized the sentiments and support of many associated with the June 2013 popular mobilizations that advocated reduced public transportation fees, better public services all around, a campaign against corruption, and a political reform to render the electoral politics more transparent and fair.
The 2014 Brazilian presidential election is now in a very dynamic stage with two viable candidates capable of winning a second round election. Some have questioned Marina’s ability to assemble a governing coalition, but few compare her candidacy and policy proposals with Fernando Collor de Melo who was elected in 1989 without a strong congressional coalition and later impeached in 1992.
This BrazilWorks Briefing sketches the historical and economic background, examines the political juncture, and offers a brief comparative analysis of the primary macroeconomic and economic development policy proposals advanced by the 2014 presidential election candidates.
Read the briefing here: Brazilian Presidential Election Briefing