Monday, August 21, 2006

Lula "Walker" Strolling to Victory?

There is a highly amusing post on the Brazzil Magazine site this week regarding this fall's upcoming presidential contest in Brazil, where Scottish consultant John Fitzpatrick opines from São Paulo that "We are not watching any exercise in democracy at the moment but waiting to see by how many votes Lula humiliates his main rival, Geraldo Alckmin of the PSDB." Truth be told, incumbent Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva of the Partido dos Trabalhadores, despite a series of corruption scandals that rocked his party last year, looks set to romp past the Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira's Alckmin if a recent O Globo poll, giving Lula 47% to Alckmin's meager 21% (with to-the-left-of-Lula Heloísa Helena of the Partido Socialismo e Liberdade polling 12%) is to be believed. Apparently, having your country's largest city and economic capital (São Paulo, where Alckmin served as governor) the subject of relentless attacks by the Primeiro Comando da Capital gang is not exactly the push one needs to overtake a leader who, though often lampooned in the Brazilian media, doesn't look so bad when held up against some of the messianic crowd attempting to run the show in much of the Americas, north and south. The PCC, it seems, has been busy clandestinely buying it's weapons from a host of enterprising individuals at state security agencies in Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, says the Rio de Janeiro-daily, O Dia.

In some melancholy news from South America's most vibrant country, Cordão da Bola Preta vice-president Emílio Jorge Paulino passed away this weekend. Their party for last Carnaval, held in Rio's business center, attracted 250,000 people, so let's hope Senhor Paulino at least left this world with a smile on his face.

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