• Categories
  • Archives

After New Scandal Brazil Is All Eyes at Polls at Election Eve

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has replaced his re-election campaign chief, Ricardo Berzoini, amid ongoing allegations of dirty tricks.

The departure of Mr Berzoini, who is also president of the governing Workers’ Party (PT), comes just 11 days before the presidential election.

The Workers’ Party is accused of trying to link the opposition to corruption. President Lula and Mr Berzoini are among those facing investigation by Brazil’s electoral court.

The affair came to light last Friday, September 15, when two men closely linked to the PT were arrested in São Paulo, in possession of almost $800,000 in cash.

The police believe the sum was to have paid for a dossier containing corruption allegations against rival politicians.

The sensitive information allegedly linked opposition politicians to the so-called ‘bloodsuckers scandal’ – a corruption scam in which state health authorities were overcharged for ambulances, with politicians receiving kickbacks.

As PT president, Berzoini denied detailed knowledge of the dossier. But he did admit to authorizing others to make contact with journalists, with a view to publishing election stories.

That was enough for President Lula to want to be rid of him.  Berzoini’s replacement as campaign manager is Marco Aurélio Garcia, a former presidential adviser on foreign policy.

Coming at the end of a day of emergency meetings in Brasí­lia, the removal of Mr Berzoini is doubly significant.

First, it indicates how serious this late-breaking campaign scandal has become. Second, it suggests President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva wants to distance himself from his own Workers Party in the final days before polling.

Will the change of personnel draw a line under the affair? Probably not.

President Lula and Mr Berzoini are among those still under investigation by Brazil’s federal electoral court – as is Freud Godoy, a former presidential aide who resigned on Monday after being linked to the corruption dossier.

For the first time in this campaign, Brazil’s opposition parties scent blood. They are demanding to know where the $800,000 – a mixture of Brazil and American currency – came from, and who ultimately gave orders for the purchase of the dossier.

Crucially, all parties are now watching the opinion polls to see whether this scandal will eat into President Lula’s substantial lead.

Recent polls have indicated 50% support for Lula, which would secure him victory in the first round of voting on October 1st.

Mercopress

Tags:

  • Show Comments (0)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

comment *

  • name *

  • email *

  • website *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Ads

You May Also Like

US Calls Brazilian Economic Policy Extraodinary and Lula a Rare Leader

The US Secretary of the Treasury, John Snow, once again praised the Brazilian government’s ...

Brazil’s E-Commerce Jumps 27%. US$ 2.5 Billion Sold in First Half

Brazil's electronic commerce grew 27% in the first half, compared with the same period ...

Brazilian Plastic Industry Exports Fall 15%

The plastics industry in Brazil earned US$ 1.1 billion from exports of processed plastic ...

Brazilian couple kissing in public

Brazil: Chasing the Internet While Men Scratch Their Privates in Public

I have a computer bloated with stories and photos meant to be passed on ...

More than 1 Million Children Between 5 and 9 Years Old Work in Brazil

Brazil’s National Residential Sample Survey (Pnad 2003/IBGE) found that the biggest decrease in the ...

Brazil Enters B4 Era: 4% of Biodiesel Is Added to All Diesel

Brazil will be soon holding an auction to meet the need for increasing the ...

Thousands of Brazilian Farmers Might Be Expelled from Bolivia

"Illegal squatters, people living on land they do not have title deeds for, whether ...

A Gasolina/Ethanol pump in a Brazilian Gas/Ethanol station

Brazil and US Join Forces to Create Ethanol Standard

Brazil and the United States are working together to create a global standard for ...