Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Canada and Russia exchange snarky tweets

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola in Nigeria: First death outside of Lagos

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Niger: Top opposition figure to be questioned in baby-trafficking scandal

Read more

  • First case of Ebola confirmed in Senegal

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • France shines in IMF list of world’s promising economists

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

  • Obama has 'no strategy yet' on potential Syria strikes

    Read more

  • Netflix to woo French with ‘House of Cards’ set in Marseille

    Read more

  • French businesses ‘hoping for a new Thatcher’

    Read more

  • Syrian refugees surpass 3 million, UN says

    Read more

  • West backs Ukrainian claims of Russian incursion

    Read more

  • Libyan PM resigns as Islamists set up rival administration

    Read more

  • UN says 43 peacekeepers captured in Golan Heights

    Read more

  • The deleted tweets of Manuel Valls

    Read more

  • Peru seizes record 6.5 tonnes of Europe-bound cocaine

    Read more

  • Pakistan army to mediate between PM, protesters

    Read more

  • PSG face Barcelona, Ajax in tough Champions League draw

    Read more

  • In pictures: Billions of locusts invade Madagascan capital

    Read more

  • Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie say ‘I do’ in France

    Read more

  • Erdogan sworn in as Turkey's president

    Read more

Americas

Rousseff fends off attacks in fiery TV debate

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2010-09-13

Workers’ Party candidate Dilma Rousseff (photo) was the target of fiery attacks in the latest presidential debate on Sunday as opponents scrambled to reduce her sizable lead three weeks away from the Oct 3 poll.

A nationally televised debate on Sunday in the run-up to Brazil’s October 3 general elections saw a new level of aggressiveness between the presidential hopefuls. Previous debates offered little excitement for voters, whom polls suggest overwhelmingly support the ruling Workers’ Party (PT) candidate Dilma Rousseff.
 
But in the latest debate, organised by daily newpaper La Folha de Sao Paulo and television station RedeTV!, Rousseff, 62, was forced to fend off a barrage of sharp-edged questions about her party’s relationship with the government of Iran, plus allegations of graft and corruption.
 
A Sept. 6 survey published by Brazilian pollster Datafolha gives Rousseff, who was outgoing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s chief of staff, 50 percent of votes – enough to avoid a second round vote. Support for her closest rival, veteran politician José Serra of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), fell to 28 percent, Datafolha said.
 
After asking Rousseff why the government nourished a relationship with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the centre-right candidate denounced the “democracy of Dilma and the PT” as one that “uses the state apparatus to protect their comrades.”
 
Rousseff was blasted over what Serra claims are illegally accessed tax records belonging to his daughter and other PSDB members and used to create a smear campaign against them.
 
A journalist also asked Rousseff to comment on allegations that her former aide, Erenice Guerra, was involved in a kickback scheme for public works contracts run by her son’s consultancy.
 
Rousseff stood her ground, more at ease than during the first nationally televised debate in August, and often going on the offensive herself. A murmur rose from the keyed-up audience when Rousseff suggested Serra was resorting to last-ditch slander tactics to revive his ailing opinion polls.

Marina pales
 
Green party candidate Marina da Silva, on track to win 10 percent of votes, was overshadowed by the jousting between Rousseff and Serra, and even by laughter-provoking flare-ups by outsider candidate Plínio de Arruda Sampaio.
 
With President Lula exiting the Planalto presidential palace with approval ratings standing at more than 70 percent, Serra has refrained from openly attacking him or his government. Serra even chose to tie his own image to Lula’s early in the presidential campaign.
 
Sunday’s debate was a first departure from that posture, and could make for a more vibrant presidential contest.
 
If Rousseff fails to win more than half of all votes in the first round, Brazilians will return to the ballot box on October 31 for a run-off poll.

 

Date created : 2010-09-13

  • BRAZIL

    Lula: Star of presidential campaign jingles

    Read more

  • brazil

    Opposition's Serra slips in polls as he confirms presidential candidacy

    Read more

  • BRAZIL

    Dilma Rousseff, Lula's preferred successor

    Read more

COMMENT(S)