[Marxism] Lula on the defensive
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Dbachmozart at aol.com
Fri Aug 12 09:24:06 MDT 2005
Brazil's Lula to Address Nation as Crisis Deepens
Published: August 12, 2005
Filed at 8:53 a.m. ET
BRASILIA, Brazil (Reuters) - Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
will address the nation on Friday morning to discuss a scandal that is roiling
his government.The decision to make the speech followed calls from other
politicians for Lula to explain to the nation how his publicist had received
undeclared political funding deposited in an overseas account.
A new poll meanwhile showed that Lula, who had been the front-runner, would
lose Brazil's 2006 presidential election in a second round vote because of the
The controversy focuses on allegations that Lula's ruling Workers' Party
bribed lawmakers to back legislation and used undeclared financing for election
campaigns. The scandal broke in June, bringing on the worst political crisis in
a decade in Latin America's largest nation.
Although several senior officials have resigned, Lula himself has not been
On Thursday, publicist Duda Mendonca, architect of Lula's 2002 campaign
victory, told a congressional probe he had received undeclared money from the
alleged middle man in the illegal funding and bribery scandal, entrepreneur Marcos
Valerio, and that the money was put in his account in a Bahamas bank.
Mendonca said the money was used to pay general Workers' Party campaign costs
in 2002 and that the president's election campaign, to his knowledge, was not
included in the illegal financing scheme for his party.
But a number of members of Congress from across the political spectrum said
Lula could now be implicated and must explain himself as the scandal moved
beyond irregular campaign funding, already acknowledged by the party, into the
sphere of financial crime involving foreign accounts.
A poll published by the Datafolha opinion research firm on Friday showed Lula
would be defeated by Sao Paulo Mayor Jose Serra in a run-off vote should the
opposition Social Democratic Party, or PSDB, politician choose to run in the
October 2006 election.
The Datafolha poll conducted on August 10, showed Lula narrowly beating Serra
in a first round vote but then losing to him in a run-off by a margin of 39
percent to the PSDB contender's 48 percent.
Lula's popularity had fallen to its lowest level ever, with a key loss of
support among poor Brazilians who voted him into office in 2002 on promises to
clean up government corruption.
The number of Brazilians judging his government good or excellent fell to 31
percent, compared with 35 percent in July, according to the poll which
surveyed 2,551 people and had a margin of error of two percentage points.
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