Political Risk Latin America Blog @PolRiskLatam

Brazil politics: Rousseff in charge

Posted in News and Articles, Political Risk by politicalrisklatam on December 29, 2010

by The Economist Intelligence Unit, December 29th, 2010.

Dilma Rousseff of the left-wing Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) will take office as president on January 1st for a four-year term. Her 12-percentage-point margin of victory in the election provides her with a strong mandate to consolidate the socioeconomic policies of her predecessor, the immensely popular Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Her coalition of ten parties will enjoy the congressional majority of over 60% needed to enact constitutional reforms. This could help Ms Rousseff pass the political and tax reforms that she has says will be priorities early in her term. However, managing her unwieldy alliance will prove challenging, and ideological differences will preclude radical reforms.

In the weeks prior to her inauguration, Ms Rousseff has proved adept in her efforts to strike a balance between providing continuity with the Lula administration and building her own leadership style through her cabinet choices and dealings with allies in the ten-party coalition. Given Lula’s pre-eminence and enduring influence, and the fact that she formed part of the outgoing administration, she has been treading carefully.

But this has not stopped her from expressing her own views on a number of issues, notably in foreign policy. She has appointed some of her personal allies to several key government positions and has proved firmer than Lula used to be in her negotiations with the PT’s major coalition ally, the centrist Partido do Movimento Demo­cratico Brasileiro (PMDB), over cabinet appointments. (continue reading… )



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