Brazil’s presidential candidates make last appeals in final election debate


Brazil's Presidential Candidates(FILE) Photo combination made with file pictures of Brazil’s presidential candidates (L to R) Aecio Neves, for the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), during a television debate in Sao Paulo, Brazil on September 1, 2014; current President Dilma Rousseff, for the Workers Party (PT) at Planalto Palace on August 13, 2014 and then senator for the Green Party Marina Silva, now candidate for the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on October 17, 2010. Despite economic woes and corruption, Brazilians appear ready to entrust incumbent Dilma Rousseff with the task of rebooting the world’s seventh biggest economy in October 5, 2014 presidential elections. Latest polls out Thursday saw Rousseff stretching a double-digit first round lead over her main challenger, environmentalist Marina Silva, and winning a run-off by seven percentage points. AFP PHOTO / NELSON ALMEIDA – EVARISTO SA – MAURICIO LIMA

Brazil’s general election is Sunday and the leading presidential candidates Dilma Rousseff, Marina Silva, and Aecio Neves took part in the last pre-election debate. CCTV America’s Stephen Gibbs reports from Rio de Janeiro.

Any three of these candidates could be Brazil’s next president.

The incumbent, President Rousseff, appeared noticeably tired in the final debate, as she also leads in the polls.

“We are going to strengthen our relationship with the BRICS,” said Rousseff. “We just created a bank to develop the BRICS with reserve funds. We are going to simultaneously develop our relationship with the European Union and our ties to the United States. Brazil will maintain a multilateral global presence.”

Dilma Rousseff

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff

Meanwhile, the popularity of her rival, Marina Silva, has slipped over the last two weeks, suggesting that repeated accusations that she is not committed to the government’s popular welfare programs are influencing voters.

“We will fight corruption and the raised interest rates that prevent the growth of today’s economy,” said Silva. “We will increase financial aid so that every person can afford to celebrate Christmas and New Year, thanks in large part to government aid programs.”

Marina Silva

Presidential candidate, Marina Silva

The candidate who appeared to have the most energy was the former outsider, and the most pro-business candidate, Aecio Neves. He has risen the polls, and could even get through to the second round runoff and surpass Silva.

“I am very confident as we advance towards the second round of elections on October 5th,” said Neves. “We are ready to put an end to the PT party’s reign because it no longer has the ability to adequately govern Brazil.”

Aecio Neves

Presidential candidate Aecio Neves

Opinion polls have been wildly up and down over the last seven weeks. For more insight on Brazil’s general election and some presidential predictions, CCTV America was joined by Hussein Kalout, an international relations professor at Harvard University and an expert on Brazilian foreign policy.