By Lise Alves, Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – This year’s presidential election campaigns should cost a total of R$916.7 million, according to data received by the Superior Electoral Court (TSE). With the numbers released by the TSE for October’s presidential elections, candidates are expected to spend 49.5 percent more than candidates in the 2010 elections.
The eleven presidential candidates who registered their candidacy with the TSE, also had to declare how much they estimated to spend on campaigning. According to information given to the Superior Court, incumbent Dilma Rousseff’s PT (Workers Party) declared that the campaign for re-election would cost at the most R$298 million.
The two strongest opposition candidates, Aecio Neves of the PSDB (Social Democracy Party) and Eduardo Campos, PSB (Socialist Party) registered expected maximum expenditures of R$290 million and R$150 million, respectively.
According to a major polling center, Datafolha, Rousseff is currently leading the polls with 38 percent of voter intention, Neves is in second with twenty percent and Campos third, with only nine percent. Those who say they will annul their vote make up eleven percent of the electorate. Another major polling center, Ibope, puts Rousseff, Neves and Campos in the same voter intention order, but shows twenty percent of voters stating they will annul their ballots. In Brazil, voting is compulsory for those eighteen and older.
Campaigning for the highest office in the land officially started on Sunday, but radio and TV campaigns are only scheduled to start on August 19th. If candidates spend more than the amount registered at the TSE they could be fined up to ten times the exceeded value.
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