Brazil: Green Party candidate polls well in Presidential first round vote


An ex rubber tapper and famous rainforest campaigner from the Amazon state of Acre, Brazil polled a remarkable 19 per cent of the vote for the Green Party in the first round of Brazil's presidential election.

Although it wasn't enough to push Marina Silva, an old colleague of Chico Mendes who was assassinated because of his rainforest activism work, into the second round of the election her showing was far higher than most pollsters predicted. Silva switched allegiance from the Workers' Party to the Greens in 2009 and commentators in Brazil suggest this significant showing of support means the Greens will be able to generate more debate on environmental issues, such as plans to change Brazil's Forestry Code (which jeopardises much recent progress on deforestation).

Meanwhile Dilma Rousseff, President Lula's chosen candidate, and the Social democrat José Serra will battle it out later this month after polling 46.7 and 33 per cent respectively.

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