You are on page 1of 4

Brazil, Presidential Election 2010

On Sunday, October 3rd, 2010 the Brazilian voting population will go to the polls to
elect the successor to Luiz Ignacio Lula da Silva (“President Lula”), and for the first
time since Presidential elections have been held under the 1988 constitution, President
Lula will not be on the ballot.

Parties have not officially declared who their candidates will be, but the phase of pre-
candidature is active, as pre-candidates form regional alliances, and begin to make visits
to States which are seen as crucial for the election.

So far, the electoral landscape looks rather well defined, with Dilma Vana Rousseff, the
current Minister of “Casa Civil”, a post that combines elements of a Prime Minister and
a Chief of Staff, for President Lula’s Government, as the Worker’s Party (“PT”) pre-
candidate. José Serra, the current Governor of the State of São Paulo is the pre-
candidate of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (“PSDB”). Since the withdrawal of
Governor Aécio Neves of Minas Gerais from contention as a candidate for the
Presidency in December, Serra is now uncontested, and will become the PSDB
candidate in March. Marina Silva, a former Environment Minister in the Lula
Government, and currently a Senator for the State of Acre is the pre-candidate of the
Green Party (“PV”). The Fourth pre-candidate, Ciro Gomes is the most unlikely to run.
Ciro Gomes, of the Brazilian Socialist Party (“PSB”) from the State of Ceará is a former
Minister of Finances in the Itamar Franco Government, a former Governor of the State
of Ceará, and Minister of National Integration in the first Lula administration. In 2002
he ran for President in the first round, polling 10.1 million votes of the 85 million cast.
Ciro Gomes would have little chance of being elected if he chose to run, and it’s not
clear what his candidacy might achieve for his future career. Notwithstanding his links
to the North-East, and particularly Ceará, he was born in the State of São Paulo, and has
recently re-registered as a resident of São Paulo, leaving open the possibility that he
could run for Governor of the State of São Paulo with the support of President Lula.

Brazilian Electoral Rules

Brazilian elections have a number of particular characteristics:

 A President must be elected with 50% + 1 of the votes cast (the
majority of valid votes). This means that often there would have to be a
Round 2, as no candidate reaches the required 50% in the first round.
Three of the five Presidential Elections held under the 1988 constitution
have gone to the second round, with Fernando Henrique Cardoso being
the only President to be elected, twice, in the first round.
 Voting is obligatory.
 The President and Vice President are elected on the same ticket.

Voting Population

In 2010, the eligible voting population will be no less than 132 million (66% of the
population), which is the estimate made by the Supreme Electoral Tribunal in
November 2009. A final number will be available in May, 2010.

The population is divided into 28 states, which are listed in Figure declining
number of voters. The age of eligibility for voting in Brazil is 18.
Voting Population of Brazil (nov 2009
São Paulo 29.498.433 22,4% 22,4%
Minas Gerais 14.150.093 10,7% 33,1%
Rio de Janeiro 11.342.233 8,6% 41,7%
Bahia 9.261.030 7,0% 48,7%
Rio Grande do Sul 7.962.447 6,0% 54,8%
Paraná 7.373.661 5,6% 60,3%
Pernambuco 6.100.594 4,6% 65,0%
Ceará 5.697.955 4,3% 69,3%
Pará 4.592.845 3,5% 72,8%
Santa Catarina 4.394.170 3,3% 76,1%
Maranhão 4.177.851 3,2% 79,3%
Goías 3.923.293 3,0% 82,3%
Paraíba 2.664.527 2,0% 84,3%
Espirito Santo 2.462.687 1,9% 86,1%
Rio Grande do Norte 2.177.700 1,7% 87,8%
Piauí 2.194.301 1,7% 89,5%
Mato Grosso 2.023.768 1,5% 91,0%
Alagoas 1.987.145 1,5% 92,5%
Amazonas 1.944.271 1,5% 94,0%
DF 1.745.530 1,3% 95,3%
Mato Grosso do Sul 1.638.946 1,2% 96,5%
Sergipe 1.376.622 1,0% 97,6%
Rondonia 1.039.769 0,8% 98,4%
Tocantins 916.761 0,7% 99,1%
Acre 449.794 0,3% 99,4%
Amapa 391.919 0,3% 99,7%
Roraima 251.032 0,2% 99,9%
ZZ 144.411 0,1% 100,0%
Brasil 131.883.788 100,0%

In recent weeks, José Serra has been spending his time building and
reinforcing his alliances in the second and third States on the list. As he is
Governor of the State of São Paulo he is well placed and indeed well
organized there. However, Minas Gerais, and Rio de Janeiro together
comprise more than 20% of the electorate. The withdrawal of Aécio Neves
from the Presidential race was crucial for Serra. Neves has also let it be
known that he will refuse to appear with President Lula, or his candidate,
Dilma Rousseff in any event that might be interpreted as electoral. There
are two issues outstanding. One is the extent to which Neves will actively
campaign for Serra, and more importantly, whether he will be Serra’s Vice
Presidential candidate. We await definition. But in Minas Gerais, as far as
Serra is concerned, his situation may be interpreted as “so far so good”.

In Rio de Janeiro, Dilma Rousseff is well placed in the sense that both the
Governor of the State, Sergio Cabral, and the Mayor of the City, Eduardo
Paes are both from Lula’s coalition partner, the Brazilian Democratic
Movement Party, the PMDB. Thus, Serra has had to establish a liaison with
Fernando Gabeira, a long standing Rio politician that currently is a Deputy
affiliated with the Green Party, who narrowly lost the race for mayor of Rio
to Eduardo Paes in 2008.

Figure 2. shows a basic description of the Brazilian population based upon
sex and age, showing the importance of women, and the relative youth of
the country with 66% of the population under 40.

Brazil, 2008
Men 48,7%
Women 51,3%
0 -14 24,7%
15 - 39 41,0%
40 + 34,3%