Electoral Court Blocks Marina Silva's Party
10/04/2013 - 09h02
Marina Silva, the politician who is, according to latest polls, the principal obstacle to President Dilma Rousseff's chances of re-election, has seen registration of her party Rede Sustentabilidade (Sustainable Network) denied. The decision was taken on Thursday night by the Superior Electoral Court.
A majority of ministers at the tribunal recognized that the party failed to obtain the popular support required by law. For registration to be successful, a party must present at least 492,000 signatures by registered voters. Rede Sustentabilidade fell short by nearly 50,000.
|The decision is a major blow to ex-senator Silva's presidential aspirations. She emerged from the elections of 2010 as the country's third largest political force, receiving 19.6 million votes for the presidency.|
To reach the required target, Rede Sustentabilidade requested that the court recognize around 100,000 signatures that, they argued, had been illegitimately rejected by electoral officials. However, the court did not agree and refused to recognize the signatures.
The decision is a major blow to ex-senator Silva's presidential aspirations. She emerged from the elections of 2010 as the country's third largest political force, receiving 19.6 million votes for the presidency.
If she intends to keep her hat in the ring, she will have to form an alliance with another party by Friday or Saturday. The minor parties National Ecological Party (PEN, in its Portuguese acronym) or the Popular Socialist Party (PPS) are possible candidates.
However, Silva has always refused to discuss this possibility. Moreover, she has always affirmed that Rede Sustentabilidade represented not just an electoral undertaking, but 'a project for the nation.'
A Datafolha poll at the beginning of August suggested that Silva, at 26%, was the leading opposition candidate to President Rousseff, who was polling 35% at the time.
If Silva does indeed withdraw from the race, it is likely to increase Rousseff's chances of winning the election in the first round (this happens when a candidate receives more than half of all valid votes).
Without opposition from either Silva, or her old foe José Serra (Brazilian Social Democrat Party - PSDB), Rousseff's principal opponents are likely to be the senator for Minas Gerais, Aécio Neves (also of the PSDB), and the governor of Pernambuco, Eduardo Campos (Brazilian Socialist Party - PSB).
Translated by TOM GATEHOUSE