Friday, 9 July 2010
A VP for Serra
Ending months of speculation and uncertainty, PSDB announced on 25 June the choice of a running mate for candidate José Serra. Senator Álvaro Dias (PSDB-PR) got the nod, and it was thought he would bring a few million votes from Paraná.
The nomination had to be formally ratified by the party on or before 5 July, but the Democrats (DEM) party, a member of Serra's coalition, compelled the candidate to reverse the decision and choose one of their own.
In a surprising if not shocking move, on the eve of the deadline Serra discarded Dias as a running mate and selected instead Antonio Índio da Costa (DEM-RJ), an almost unknown 39-year-old federal deputy from Rio and a political protégé of controversial former Rio mayor César Maia.The net result will be to add three minutes of television time to Serra's campaign. It is doubtful that it was worth it.
Índio da Costa's only claim to glory is that he was rapporteur of the Clean Records Law (Fichas Limpas) in the Chamber of Deputies. This is of course positive, but he is linked to the political machine in Rio, which itself is not the cleanest.
The last-minute selection, obviously under coercion by DEM, does not help the candidate. He is a far cry from Aécio Neves (PSDB-MG), who would have enormously boosted the ticket.
As a strategic move by Serra, this was a disaster. In the past, eight vice-presidents have had to replace the president of Brazil. If voters consider this possibility, Indio da Costa is probably a hazardous choice.
For more news and expert analysis about Brazil, please see Brazil Focus.
© 2010 Menas Associates