World Bulletin / News Desk
Environmental activist and evangelical Christian, Marina Silva will run for president for the Brazilian Socialist Party-led electoral coalition, it was officially confirmed Wednesday night at the party's headquarters in the Brazilian capital, Brasília.
Federal deputy Beto Albuquerque was also confirmed as Silva's vice presidential running mate, in what local media reported as a unanimous decision between the six parties that make up the coalition.
Party leaders were forced to form a new presidential ticket after presidential candidate and former governor of Pernambuco state, Eduardo Campos, was killed last Wednesday in a plane crash.
Silva told assembled party members that she recognized Campos as "the party's chosen leader" and said she was buoyed by the "opportunity to preserve the good things" achieved in the country and also "change the things that are wrong."
Silva said she would honor the commitments made "side-by-side" with Campos.
"We won't give up on Brazil," she said, citing a phrase uttered by Campos before his death, which has now become the party's campaign slogan.
Albuquerque said he wanted to continue the work already begun together with Campos over the past 20 years: "Marina and I are not going to leave Eduardo's legacy half done," the new vice presidential candidate said in an emotional speech.
The party has until Saturday to make official its new presidential candidates with Brazil's Supreme Electoral Court.
Speculation had been rife that the former senator and environment minister under ex-President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva would replace Campos to head the presidential ticket for the Socialist Party since last week's fatal accident.
After running for president herself for the Green Party in 2010 and taking third place with nearly 20 percent of the vote, Silva had been Campos's running mate for the 2014 race for the presidency -- a position she agreed to fill after failing to register her own party, the Sustainability Network.
The first round of the general elections in 2014 is set to take place on October 5 and an estimated 143 million Brazilians are eligible to vote.
The Socialist Party coalition has been in the unenviable position of having been forced to begin its television and radio campaign without confirmed candidates.
All parties are allotted free national airtime for presidential candidates divided in accordance with the number of members of Congress. Rousseff's Workers' Party-led coalition has been awarded nearly half the 25-minute slots. The Socialist Party gets just over two minutes, by contrast.
All major parties led their first broadcasts, on Tuesday, with tributes to Eduardo Campos, but his family has since banned all parties except the Socialist Party from using his image in their electoral campaigns.
It now remains to be seen whether the recent significant numerical boost to the Socialist Party, which has been attributed both to the fact that Silva is better known nationally and to an outpouring of emotion following Campos's death, can be maintained over the next 45 days.
Raised in a poor family of rubber-tappers in the remote state of Acre, political experts told the Anadolu Agency that Silva is likely to lure voters from lower socioeconomic and increasingly-important evangelical demographics, as well as younger, left-leaning, environment-oriented voters.Last Mod: 21 Ağustos 2014, 17:31