[Marxism] Lula on the defensive

Dbachmozart at aol.com Dbachmozart at aol.com
Fri Aug 12 09:24:06 MDT 2005


Brazil's Lula to Address Nation as Crisis Deepens
By REUTERS
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 
scandal.
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 
directly implicated.
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.
NY Times



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