By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer
Brazil, the largest South American country and the fifth biggest country in the world, re-elected President Dilma Rousseff this week. After becoming the country’s first female president in 2011 as part of the Workers’ Party, Rousseff helped the country get back on its feet financially. However, times have been tough lately, which is why the presidential race against Aécio Neves of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) was fierce.
After more than 99% of the votes were counted, Rousseff had 51.59% of the vote, while Neves managed to win 48.41%. In a country with a population of over 200 million, where 143 million are eligible voters, that means there will be some serious divisions in the coming years.
Still, that widespread difference of opinions hasn’t discouraged Rousseff. “Every election has to be seen as a form of change, especially for us who live in one of the largest democracies in the world,” she said. “The heat released in the dispute must be transformed into constructive energy.” She is also mindful of last year’s rough protests, when over a million people filled the streets to battle political corruption, police cruelty, and poor public services.
Although the Workers’ Party gained power in 2002 by promising fair government, it has suffered many scandals in the past 12 years. See, the state-run oil company, Petrobras, wields a lot of influence in Brazil. They’ve been investigated for bribing government officials in the ruling party, who are in turn accused of accepting the huge checks. Rousseff has vowed to continue cleaning house and getting Brazil out of its economic slump, but she’ll face some strong resistance along the way. Her actions will impact both the citizens of Brazil and the wildlife of the Amazon rainforest. About 60% of the massive jungle is contained in the nation’s borders, and despite Rousseff’s efforts to conserve the Amazon’s endangered species and plants, she’s had trouble getting it past influential farmer organizations.
Featured images courtesy of Dilma Rousseff Facebook.