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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Former presidential candidate and environmentalist, Marina Silva, has been granted the go-ahead by the Superior Electoral Court to register the Rede Sustentabilidade – REDE (Sustainability Network) party in Brazil. With REDE, Brazil now has 34 political parties.

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Marina SIlva’s political party REDE has been registered, photo by José Cruz/ABr.

“We have taken our discussion to all states of the country and to thousands of municipalities. We have spent much energy in the construction of a new way to conduct politics which will never end,” said the new party’s press release after the announcement. “The registry, however, is a fundamental step to advance in our fight for the transformations we want for the country,” added the release.

Unable to register the party for the 2014 presidential elections, Silva, who was born in the Amazon region and was a rubber tapper before turning to politics, ran as vice-president on the PSB (Brazilian Socialist Party) ticket, which named Eduardo Campos as its presidential hopeful.

When Campos was killed in a helicopter accident in August of 2014, Silva became the PSB’s candidate, and for a while was a likely contender to win the presidency. At the polls, however, she came in third place, behind President Dilma Rousseff of the PT (Workers’ Party) and Aecio Neves of the PSDB (Social Democratic Party).

“She became a candidate under tragic circumstances,” said Court Justice Gilmar Mendes after announcing the authorization for the creation of REDE. “She lost the election but won our admiration. Therefore, despite losing she was a winner,” added Mendes.

Silva, a former Senator and Environment Minister during Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s Administration has run in the last two presidential races, obtaining more than twenty million votes. On its website REDE lists among its objectives a change in the economic model, the reform of the political system, the democratization of the communication system, guarantee of equality of gender and eradication of poverty through inclusion.

“We are aware that political times are difficult. We will continue together in the fight to construct the Brazil we really want, with more just and sustainable conditions for the entire population,” concludes the REDE statement.

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