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Personal Attacks Dominate Presidential Debate

10/17/2014 - 09h10



In the most virulent clash of the current campaign, Dilma Rousseff (PT) and Aécio Neves (PSDB) brought up personal attacks to the center of the debate on Thursday (16), in an environment that reminded us of the final stretch of the presidential race between Fernando Collor and Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, 25 years ago.

While the PT candidate insinuated that her opponent was caught up driving "under the influence of alcohol and drugs" and that he benefited relatives, the PSDB candidate said that Dilma Rousseff's brother was a ghost government official from her party, PT, in Belo Horizonte.

The debate organized by the SBT TV channel, the UOL portal, a company from the Grupo Folha, and the Jovem Pan radio was marked by heightened discussions.

Dilma felt sick at the end and interrupted an interview with the reporter to sit down.

Amidst the attacks suffered during the event, Aecio accused the opposition and her party, PT, of using again old tactics, as it was in 1989.

On occasion, the Collor campaign brought to the electoral propaganda the testimony of Miriam Cordeiro, Lula's former girlfriend, who accused him of suggesting that she should have an abortion of her now daughter Lurian.

Dilma adopted the repeated discourse she has been using during much of her activism on the Internet, to address the controversial points of Neves political trajectory.

When she questioned her opponent about "Lei Seca" (Dry Law), she wanted to bring to light the episode from 2011 when Aécio refused to take an alcohol test in Rio.

The PSDB candidate got hotheaded: "My license had expired and, at that moment, inadvertently, I did not take the test and I apologized for that."

In her reply, Dilma said: "As a candidate, I do not drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs."

In another moment of the debate – with no questions from journalists– the topic "nepotism" resurfaced.

After being told that he employed relatives in Minas government, Neves said his sister Andreia Neves did volunteer work in his administration (2003-2010).

And, Aécio accused Dilma's brother, Igor Rousseff, of being a ghost government official at the PT party at Belo Horizonte's mayor office in today's administration from governor Fernando Pimentel. Dilma did not respond.

Pimentel said, on Twitter: "He is a lawyer and worked regularly and with efficiency at the city hall and the attorney's office at the municipality."

Petrobras scandal was also a topic during the debate.

The former executive of the state-owned company, Paulo Roberto Costa, had accused former president of the PSDB party, Sergio Guerra (who died in March) of accepting bribes to suppress the case from being investigated, as revealed by Folha, and it was used as part of Dilma's argument.

The news was aired earlier in the debate and during the first commercial break, Dilma was informed by her campaign manager, Joao Santana.

Neves commented with irony that Dilma finally gave credibility to information from the former director, who had accused government's allies parties from benefiting of misappropriation.

Translated by SIMONE PALMA

Read the article in the original language

Adriano Vizoni/Folhapress
Dilma Rousseff (PT) and Aécio Neves (PSDB) brought up personal attacks to the center of the debate on Thursday (16)
Dilma Rousseff (PT) and Aécio Neves (PSDB) brought up personal attacks to the center of the debate on Thursday (16)

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