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EL ESPECTADOR

Brazil And The Great Electoral Expectation

The electoral horizon looks unsympathetic for disaffected Brazilian voters after the death of a charismatic presidential aspirant. Will Rousseff win again, despite politics-as-usual fatigue?

Neves, Rousseff, Silva. Little to inspire voters?
Neves, Rousseff, Silva. Little to inspire voters?
Beatriz Miranda Cortéz

-OpEd-

BOGOTA — Since the tragic Aug. 13 death of Socialist Party presidential candidate Eduardo Campos in a plane crash, Brazil's general election outlook has shifted.

The October election comes amid growing dissatisfaction with the political parties and their traditions of patronage, especially among the country's young voters. There has been a vigorous campaign in favor of abstention or casting blank votes, and it seems as if the generation that fought the country's dictatorship in the 1970s and forged its transition to democracy has come to the end of the line.

As polarization grew between President Dilma Rousseff"s supporters and opponents alienated by politics, Campos led the United for Brazil coalition and represented a new kind of leadership for the generation born after 1964. They hoped to restore the dream of freedom, accompanied by economic stability. They saw that dream come closer when Lula da Silva became president and vowed to fight hunger and reduce Brazil's vulnerability.

"We cannot give up on Brazil," Campos told Globo TV in the last interview before his death. Now, on the eve of these decisive elections, environmental activist Marina Silva has become his successor as the Socialist candidate, though she was previously seen as nothing more than his running mate of convenience. Just after his death, polls showed Silva with support from 20% of voters — much higher than where Campos was polling at the time of his death, and only one point below Aécio Neves, a third presidential candidate who is runner-up to Rousseff in the polls.

While polls show the sitting president as the favorite with support from 40% of voters, and likely to win in the second round, the elections will nevertheless reflect a country divided around the visions of the two parties that have been the political protagonists in recent decades: Neves' Social Democratic Party of Brazil (PSDB) and Rousseff's Workers Party (PT).

The decisive voting states will be Minas Gerais, from which Neves and Rousseff come, and São Paulo, the most important voting region for the PSDB. Brazil's northeast, where the PT's social policies are more evident, will also play an important part.

It is true, as Campos said, that voters cannot give up on Brazil. But right now, there is little to inspire voters in the Workers Party and its plans for holding onto power, or in Neves and a PSDB that has no clear program. The country desperately needs light at the end of its tunnel — and Campos may have been that light. Brazil, meanwhile, faces a menu of unresolved political issues: a pragmatic Left that began on the streets and has now moved far from the people, an obsolete political center, and the Right, which is reorganizing itself around Marina Silva.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

"Welcome To Our Hell..." Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba Speaks

In a rare in-depth interview, Ukraine's top diplomat didn't hold back as he discussed NATO, E.U. candidacy, and the future of the war with Russia. He also reserves a special 'thank you' for Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi.

Dmytro Kuleba, Foreign Minister of Ukraine attends the summit of foreign ministers of the G7 group of leading democratic economic powers.

Oleg Bazar

KYIV — This is the first major interview Ukrainian Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba has given. He spoke to the Ukrainian publication Livy Bereg about NATO, international assistance and confrontation with Russia — on the frontline and in the offices of the European Parliament.

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At 41, Kuleba is the youngest ever foreign minister of Ukraine. He is the former head of the Commission for Coordination of Euro-Atlantic Integration and initiated Ukraine's accession to the European Green Deal. The young but influential pro-European politician is now playing a complicated political game in order to attract as many foreign partners as possible to support Ukraine not only in the war, but also when the war ends.

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