Sao Paulo - April 10 -- Jose Serra, will be giving Lula’s party a run for the money. He is currently the favorite in the Brazilian presidential race, His platform pledged to boost government investment in infrastructure and relax fiscal restraints as he tries to persuade voters that he would be a better choice than Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has been to continue economic gains.
Serra, a member of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party the country’s biggest opposition group, officially declared his candidacy for the upcoming October elections the Democrats and Popular Socialist Party is endorsing his candidacy. They will be competing against Lula’s chosen successor, former cabinet chief Dilma Rousseff, 62.
“To have sustainable growth in coming years, we cannot have a perverse mix of a lack of infrastructure, inadequacies in economic policy, a huge tax burden, an increase of fiscal rigidity and an excessive increase of the gap in the balance of payments,” Serra, 68, said during a speech in Brasilia today.
Six months before the presidential vote Serra leads all nationwide polls. Last week he resigned as governor of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s wealthiest and most populous state.
In a newspaper column last year Serra’s commented that the Brazilian currency is “overvalued” due to high interest rates set by the central bank. Accordning to former central bank director Paulo Vieira da Cunha many fear that Serra will interfere in the currency market if elected,
“People tend to see Serra as an economist, believing his views are related to an economic ideology,” Vieira da Cunha said. “No doubt there’s concern about Serra.
“Many people believe Serra has a stronger commitment to fiscal responsibility,” Vieira da Cunha said. “He’s talking as a politician, not an economist, in the months before the election.”
In the 2002 elections Serra lost to Lula, Senator Sergio Guerra, president of Serra’s PSDB party, said there’s no reason for investors to be concerned about a Serra victory.
In an interview on April 7 Guerra said “We’ll show voters that Serra is the most adequate candidate and meets requirements for the job, to lead Brazil now in this new century,”
A Recent Datafolha polls indicate that Serra has the backing of 36 percent of those surveyed compared with 27 percent for Rousseff, a member of the Worker’s Party.