Brazil Elections: Battle of Bureaucrats

Brazilian elections will likely feature two competent, slightly dull bureaucrats. However, behind workaday exteriors lie tough personalities with ruthless political instincts.

Investors tend to see Brazil’s elections – the first round of which are slated for October 3 – as offering continuity not change. Both likely candidates are from the center left and have many policy similarities. However, elections will not be a non-event, says Rafael Cortez, political scientist at São Paulo-based consultancy Tendências. They are likely to be closely fought and the outcome is unpredictable, he notes.

Dilma Rousseff, frontrunner for the Workers’ Party (PT), has earned a reputation for toughness reducing grown men – including the boss of Petrobras José Sergio Gabrielli – to tears, according to local media. José Serra, likely candidate for the centrist Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) party, is known as the kind of tough negotiator who gets what he wants.

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