Brazil: political samba begins

Political manoeuvring in the sidelines has begun in the run-up to the Presidential elections next Autumn, with Roseana Sarney, second in the opinion polls, threatening to withdraw.

Roseana Sarney, daughter of ex-president Jose Sarney, governess of the state of Maranhao and a member of the Partido da Frente Liberal (PFL, Liberal Front Party), has threatened to withdraw her stand for the presidency if the PFL does not back her unconditionally and cease supporting the government of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso.

The reason for this decision was an eight-hour search of the head office of her firm, Lunus, which Roseana Sarney owns together with her husband, Jorge Murad. During this search, documents were taken for analysis by the Federal Police, who made 14 telephone calls to Brasilia from the office during the raid, and requested the secretary to send a fax message to the president of the Republic to report on the progress.

This led Roseana Sarney, and her father, now a senator, to believe that the raid was masterminded by the PSDB (Partido do Movimento Social-Democrata Brasileiro), with the purpose of destabilising her candidature. She claims that the candidate for the PSDB, Jose Serra, was the mastermind behind the operation.

If true, this is another clear indication that Brazil is not a serious country run by serious people, for to use police for political intrigue smacks of petty, third world politics run by second-class citizens. Indeed, Brazil is a country with a first class people living in a second-world country, ruled by a minority oligarchic clique of third-rate people.

Marcia MIRANDA PRAVDA.Ru BRAZIL In Sao Luis do Maranhao

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