Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil candidates' stance on key issues

A combination photo shows presidential candidates President Dilma Rousseff (left)and Aecio Neves gesturing to photographers after voting on 5 October, 2014 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption President Dilma Rousseff faced Senator Aecio Neves in a run-off vote on 26 October

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, whose Workers' Party has been in power for 12 years, has narrowly beaten her rival Aecio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party in the second round of the Brazilian election on 26 October.

BBC Brasil's Gary Duffy and Julia Carneiro look at the differences between the two candidates.


Image copyright EPA
Image caption Prices have been going up in Brazil and both candidates said tackling inflation is key

Dilma Rousseff:

  • Vigorously defends her government's economic achievements including record low unemployment
  • Hampered by low growth rates and the fact that the country has slipped into a technical recession
  • Critics accuse her administration of too much economic intervention
  • Announced - after wide-spread criticism - that if re-elected she would need a new economic team: Brazil's long-serving Finance Minister Guido Mantega to leave - but for personal reasons
  • Promises to tackle inflation, which currently is at the top of the government's target range
  • Vows to make Brazil more competitive, tackling bureaucracy and boosting investments to improve infrastructure

Aecio Neves:

  • Says his priority is to get the economy back on track by focussing on three key issues: tackling inflation, fiscal responsibility and a floating exchange rate system
  • Argues the economy needs greater transparency and predictability to attract investors
  • Demands less government interference
  • Announced a high-profile name as his potential finance minister: the former president of Brazil's Central Bank, Arminio Fraga


Image copyright AP
Image caption There is a shortage of some 300,000 primary school teachers, and education provision is a hot issue

Dilma Rousseff:

  • Promises to invest revenue from newly discovered deepwater oil reserves in education
  • Vows to create 100,000 new scholarships under the Science without Borders programme, offering grants for graduate and postgraduate students studying abroad
  • Wants to expand the reach of the Pronatec education scheme, which has provided professional training for 7.5 million people since 2011 - and she wants to make that 20 million in her second mandate

Aecio Neves:

  • Holds up his achievements as governor of Minas Gerais state as an example of what he could achieve as president
  • Says linking teachers' salaries to performance levels worked well in Minas Gerais
  • Advocates greater recognition for teachers, including better conditions and salaries
  • Promises universal education for children aged four to 17

Social policy

Image copyright AFP
Image caption How to help Brazil's most deprived families is a problem the next government will have to tackle

Dilma Rousseff:

  • Promises to expand the flagship Bolsa Familia programme which provides a cash transfer to millions of poor Brazilian families in return for sending children to school and getting them vaccinated
  • Wants to to extend its reach, especially to those so far excluded from it
  • Argues that the popular programme - the president won in many of the states where it is widely available - is safest in the hands of the Workers' Party government

Aecio Neves:

  • Promises to preserve and expand Bolsa Familia
  • Insists Bolsa Familia was inspired by programmes created during his party's time in power
  • Suggests creating a programme aimed at improving life conditions for Brazil's most vulnerable families
  • Wants to map Brazil's poorest areas to target those most in need


Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Brazilians expressed their disgust with a series of corruption scandals by staging mass protests in 2013

Dilma Rousseff:

  • Has been hit hard by corruption scandals in the past decade but says her administration has a good record of rigorously investigating corruption and sacking and/or arresting offenders
  • Has proposed a five-point plan to combat corruption, including punishing public bodies which acquire goods or property and cannot prove where the money to finance them came from
  • Wants the use of undeclared funds to finance political campaigns to be declared a crime and made punishable as such

Aecio Neves:

  • Has seized on corruption allegations made against state-run oil company Petrobras to attack Ms Rousseff, who chaired the company's board from 2003 to 2010
  • Says that Petrobras has moved from the economic to the crime section of newspapers under the current government
  • Has promised to improve legislation to combat white-collar crime and to enhance training for agents whose job it is to combat corruption


Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Brazilians want their politicians to increase security - and not just during events such as the World Cup

Dilma Rousseff:

  • Wants to build on the success of intelligence co-ordination during the World Cup
  • Aims to better integrate public security agencies across the country
  • Promises to expand investment in security policies at the state level
  • Proposes a national academy specialising in training police officers and investigators
  • Believes better education is key to tackling crime among young people and opposes lowering the age of criminal responsibility

Aecio Neves:

  • Suggests a partnership with the private sector to build new prisons to combat violence and overcrowding in Brazil's jails, which have been labelled "mediaeval" by the justice minister
  • Advocates reducing the age of criminal responsibility from 18 to 16 for the most serious offences, to combat youth crime
  • Proposes new intelligence-gathering centres for the police
  • Wants greater integration of the different security forces


Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption A programme to bring in foreign physicians to boos the number of doctors proved controversial

Dilma Rousseff:

  • Strongly defends her government's flagship Mais Medicos (More Doctors) programme which aims to boost healthcare by bringing in doctors from abroad
  • Aims to expand the programme further despite criticism by Brazilian doctors, who say Cuban doctors brought in under Mais Medicos only received part of the pay destined to them, with the larger slice going to the Cuban government
  • Wants to increase the number of specialists available within the public health system to treat specific illnesses such as lung or heart disease
  • Plans to build new clinics and emergency centres, and expand treatment in existing private and charitable institutions

Aecio Neves:

  • Aims to devote 10% of government income to health
  • Proposes the creation of hundreds of new health centres and the opening of accessible health consultancy centres to deal with the shortage of specialists
  • Plans to open health clinics in poor and violent areas, and in the outskirts of big cities
  • Wants to improve the Mais Medicos programme but stresses his priority would be to use Brazilian doctors

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