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BRAZIL
More support for Lula
9/9/2002
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Former conservative President José Sarney (1985-90) has thrown his support behind the leading presidential candidate, Luiz Ignácio Lula da Silva, in the Oct. 6 elections. Sarney said the Workers Party (PT) candidate had "matured politically and learned to negotiate," and called Lula, who is running for the fourth time, a stabilizing force in Brazilian politics.

Sarney’s support for Lula distanced him further from the rightist Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), which he represents in the Senate. His party, part of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s governing coalition, is backing former Health Minister José Serra for president.

Sarney broke with the party in February, after police raided the offices of his daughter, Roseana Sarney, who was a leading candidate to represent the coalition in the elections (LP, Jan. 28, 2002). She was accused of illegally using campaign donations and dropped out of the race.

According to a recent Vox Populi poll, Lula remains in first place with 34-percent voter support. He is followed by Ciro Gomes of the Workers Front, with 25 percent, and Serra, with 15 percent.

 


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