Brazil. In two rounds on October 6 and 27, the Labor
Party's PT (Partido dos Trabalhadores) candidate Luiz Inácio
won "Lula" da Silva presidential election in Brazil. His
main opponent, the government candidate José Serra, only
managed to get 23% in the first round and 39% in the second.
The output is historical in many ways. Former metal
worker and union leader Lula becomes Brazil's first
president with a distinct left profile. PT has its roots in
the trade union movement that started in São Paulo's
industrial zone, the so-called ABC area, in the late 1970s.
Lula has previously made three attempts to win the
presidential post and has always been a favorite according
to opinion polls. But the media and the political
establishment have closed the path behind his opponents to
prevent him from conquering the presidential post.
Even during this year's election campaign, every opinion
poll was followed, which gave Lula the leadership of falling
currency and stock exchange rates. However, PT's original
socialist profile was subdued during the 1990s, and its
alliance partner in this year's election was the
Conservative Liberal Party PL.
Countryaah website, Lula's choice of alliance partner caused his candidacy
some problems. MST (Movimento dos Sem-Terra), an
organization representing the interests of landless peasants
and who has long supported his party, occupied the outgoing
President Fernando Henrique Cardoso's estate in the state of
Minas Gerais the week before Easter, but abstained from land
occupations during most of the election campaign so as not
to disturb it. In contrast, Celso Daniel, mayor of one of
the ABC cities and a member of PT, was kidnapped and
murdered in January by a hitherto unknown armed left-wing
group that called itself FARB. The reason was said that PT
allied with the conservative PL.
On January 21, a technical fault occurred in the electric
power network in São Paulo, which led to an automatic
shutdown in 13 of the 18 turbines at the huge hydropower
plant in Itaipú, on the border with Paraguay, which produces
30% of the country's electricity. Eleven of Brazil's most
densely populated states were laid in the dark. The incident
was a dramatic reminder of the vulnerability in the energy
sector that Brazil is suffering from. On March 1, however,
the electricity rations caused by last year's drought and
the low water level in the reservoirs stopped.
The 1983 election reflected the enormous social
discontent and gave the opposition the victory. The central
government won only 12 states, while the opposition won 10 -
including the most economically important ones: São Paulo,
Río de Janeiro and Minas Gerais, which comprised 59% of the
population and accounted for 75% of GDP. The governor of
Minas Gerais, Tancredo Neves, was the central opposition
figure in the formulation of opposition to the military
regime. The popular election campaign in 1984 failed
miserably, but the opposition triumphed instead in the
Election Council when the ruling party split. Tancredo Neves
was named president and José Sarney became vice president.
The latter had been chairman of the former government party
until a few weeks earlier. Tancredo announced plans
implementing a new social order called Republica Nova.
The plan was to implement land reform, renegotiate the
external debt and regain the pace of economic development.
It was considered that these points were the most effective
in ensuring democratization and modernization of the
country. Shortly before taking over the presidential post,
however, Tancredo Neves was rushed to hospital. José Sarney
temporarily assumed the presidency, and when Neves died on
April 21, 85, the takeover became permanent. Sarney
legalized the Communist parties and other left-wing
organizations, some of which had been banned for 20 or even
40 years. Democratization was confirmed with the adoption of
direct elections for the presidential and mayoral posts of
major cities. In addition, elections were held for a
constitutional assembly for January 1987, and the illiterate
got the right to vote.
Sarney stopped payments on foreign debt in 1986 and
launched the Cruzado Plan to be used in the fight against
inflation. The plan's short-term effects were positive -
giving rise to consumption and economic growth. The
momentous prosperity coincided with the November 86
parliamentary elections, which gave the PMDB an overwhelming
election victory. Congress was tasked with drafting a new
constitution that would mark a return to democratic
governance. The Constitutional Assembly, following intense
pressure from the presidential office of José Sarney, ruled
for five years, across the deceased Neves who had wanted a
four-year presidential term.
But in the end, the Cruzado plan could not be continued
without addressing the widespread speculation and without
drawing financial sector boundaries. Two days after the
election, the price halt was abolished, and monthly
inflation rose again to 2-digit numbers. At the same time,
the goals of the announced land reform were gradually
reduced. At the municipal elections in 1988, connections to
the left and center-left parties increased at the expense of
In December 1988, the landlords of Acre killed Chico
Mendes, the leader of a movement comprising seringueiros
(rubber tappers) and indigenous people of the
Amazon who fought against the destruction of the rainforest
and the establishment of extractive reserves, to guarantee
the right to life and work without destroying rainforest.
In November-December 1989, the first direct elections for
the presidential office were held in 29 years. About 80
million voters went to the polls. In the first round, the
two candidates who got the most votes were Fernando Collor
de Mello, candidate for the right wing and Luiz Inacio
«Lula» da Silva, chairman of the Partido dos Trabalhadores
(PT, Labor Party). Collor de Mello was a young politician
who made a career in the shadow of the military
dictatorship. In the second round of elections he got 42.75%
of the vote against Lula's 37.86%.
When Collor de Mello took office on March 16, 1990, he
announced the implementation of a Plan for the New Brazil.
An attempt to curb the inflationary spiral by confiscating
80% of the financial resources circulating in the country.
Collor used a neoliberal model to open the economy with the
privatization of state-owned enterprises and the reduction
of the tariff barriers to imports of foreign goods. But the
plan did not bring inflation, the crisis or unemployment