Photo: Dilma Rousseff
Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff begins the final year of her four-year term in a strong position to seek a second mandate in the October general elections, though she has yet to say whether she will be a candidate.
Rousseff enjoys an approval rating of 56 percent, according to a recent survey by pollster Ibope, higher than that of both of her predecessors at the same point in their respective terms.
Both of those presidents, Fernando Henrique Cardoso and Rousseff mentor Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, went on to win re-election.
The popularity of Brazil’s first woman head of state has largely recovered from the impact of weeks of sometimes violent protests in June.
Rousseff responded to protesters’ complaints about the quality of public services by taking steps to address the problems, such as recruiting foreign doctors to serve slums and rural areas that Brazilian physicians typically eschew.
Polls show Rousseff would receive around 50 percent of the vote if she ran for a second term, compared with 25 percent for her closest potential rival, environmentalist and former Cabinet minister Marina Silva.
Lula and other important figures in the governing Workers Party have made it clear they want the incumbent to seek another term.
“We have a responsibility and it is to re-elect this comrade as president of the republic,” Lula said at the start of December’s party congress.