It will take more than ten days for the followers of former Pernambuco governor Eduardo Campos to mourn the untimely death of their candidate in the presidential election that’s now less than eight weeks away.
But within the next ten days, the party that Campos led, the Partido Socialista Brasileiro (PSB, Brazilian Socialist Party), coordinating with the coalition that supported his presidential candidacy, must turn to the pressing reality of selecting a new candidate, who must then hit the ground running as the general election campaign is set to begin.
There’s no way to underestimate the impact of Brazil’s October general election. With around 203 million people, Brazil is the world’s fifth-most populous country, and it’s the most populous country in Latin America, where the Brazilian president holds significant regional political clout. Despite recent troubles with growth and the value of its currency, Brazil’s $2.25 trillion economy is also the largest in Latin America and the seventh-largest economy in the world, and its status as one of the BRICs makes it one of the leading global emerging markets.
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There’s no rule that Campos’s running mate will automatically succeed him, but no one is more prepared to take on that challenge than vice presidential candidate Marina Silva (pictured above, as Campos looks on), the former environmental minister who placed third in the last presidential election in 2010.
Silva, visibly shaken earlier today, was reportedly set to join the fatal flight that took not only Campos’s life, but the lives of six other individuals. She spoke briefly to reporters today after the crash, and she is now on her way to Santos, the port city in São Paulo state where Campos’s flight fell:
“A imagem que eu vou guardar dele é da nossa despedida de ontem, cheio de alegria, cheiio de sonhos, cheio de compromissos”, lembrou Marina. [“The image that I’ll save is our farewell yesterday, full of joy, full of dreams, full of compromises,” said Marina.”]
Tragically, Campos’s death now provides Silva the best chance of her political career to become Brazil’s president. Continue reading Why Marina Silva must now step up for the Brazilian left