Guns, God and fake news dominate Brazil’s presidential race
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Rio authorities prepare to crack down on illegal gun sales to Brazil’s top leaders, including President Dilma Rousseff.
RIO DE JANEIRO — In the days leading to Brazil’s presidential elections Sunday, an army of journalists have been flooding the world’s media with coverage of the political soap opera.
In addition to the daily media updates, blogs have been updated daily, and Twitter has kept the noise level high. In an effort to make sure the candidates knew that they had a wide and engaged audience, they have opened a series of political Twitter accounts, including Rousseff’s.
“As much as possible, I have been doing something about this. I’m a social media guy. I’ve been on Twitter a lot. I’ve watched the world’s media, people talking about all the candidates,” said Rousseff, who has already spent more than $300 million of her own money on her campaign.
Guns, God and fake news With the polls opening Thursday and Sunday, the focus on Brazil’s presidential elections is only increasing, especially as voters decide between the two front-runners, Rousseff and her leftist rival, former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Rousseff, whose Workers’ Party has served as a key player in Brazil’s development, stands to take on her country’s largest opposition party for the first time since Lula was arrested in 2003 for fraud and corruption.
As president, Rousseff faces a raft of challenges. While she is in office for only three years, she has to contend with an economy that is expected to contract 6.5 percent by the end of her mandate and a public finances that is in line with the country’s economic growth forecasts of 6 percent.
Her opponent’s main economic concern is the country’s sky-high price of oil, which is expected to rise to $115 a barrel by September, a rise that would cripple Brazil’s economy. Lula has promised to reduce the country’s dependence on the oil sector, in which the government is estimated to receive $1 billion a year.
For the first time since 1976, the elections will be covered by