By George Utley, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In the run up to a long electoral campaign beginning on July 6th, President Dilma Rousseff praised her partnership with the state governor of Rio de Janeiro, Luiz Fernando de Souza (Pezão), and the mayor, Eduardo Paes. Speaking at two separate public events in Rio last weekend, the President presented a united front between the national, state and municipal governments.
“We have been in this partnership for more than seven years. It is a republican partnership. We have managed to carry out the best possible works for Rio de Janeiro” she stated.
Pezão is a member of the PMDB who, like Rousseff, will also be running for re-election in October after inheriting the job from ex-governer Cabral. He made sure to reciprocate the president’s appraisals, despite indications that many of his party are backing Aécio Neves (PSDB) for the presidential elections. Interestingly the gubernatorial candidate from Rousseff’s own PT party, Lindbergh Faris, was conspicuous by his absence.
“President, our eternal thanks for this partnership we have made and continue to make,” said Pezão in Rio in front of a crowd of 2,500 new homeowners, beneficiaries on the Minha Casa Minha Vida project. “Nothing can take away from our many achievements. Differences, elbowing, that will all come around during the election period. Our partnership is above party and political issues” said the governor.
Although he claims to be in favor of reelection Rousseff and has exalted the partnership, Pezão has admitted that he will give an open platform to two other presidential candidates: Aécio Neves and Pastor Everaldo (PSC). The president of the PMDB-RJ, Jorge Picciani, expects it will be difficult for the relationship between Rousseff and Pezão not to become strained. In an interview with O Globo on Sunday he opined, “There will not be three candidates on the platform, there will only be one.”
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