SBT Presidential Debate


This second debate, on SBT, and the first since Brasil Wire went live was slightly more nervous than the first on Band, which was in part down to the manner of the host, and perhaps as a result of the latest polls showing PSB candidate Marina Silva, who entered the running only a few weeks ago following the death of Eduardo Campos, actually ahead in a potential second round of voting.

These debates are distributed between the major TV channels to  try and avoid electoral manipulation by their proprietors.

According to the latest polls from Datafolha issued last Friday, Marina Silva (PSB) and Dilma Rousseff (PT) are tied with 34% of the vote. Aecio Neves (PSDB), previously the main challenger to Rousseff, is down to 15%, which was unthinkable just one month ago, where Dilma looked set for certain victory, perhaps even in the first round. Pastor Everaldo of PSC, who is competing with Marina Silva for the Evangelical vote has 2% in the polls.

Other candidates Zé Maria (PSTU), Eduardo Jorge (PV), José Maria Eymael (PSDC), Luciana Genro (PSoL), Levy Fidelix (PRTB), Mauro Iasi (PCB) and Rui Costa Pimenta (PCO) did not reach 1%. Of these only Eduardo Jorge, Levy Fidelix and Luciana Genro participated at this debate. ‘No answer’ and ‘do not know’ total 14%, which, with participation compulsory in Brasil, means at least some of these votes are very much up for grabs.


Rousseff decided to go on the attack early in the debate, a change of strategy that was anticipated on account of the latest polls.

Dilma asks the first question, directed at Marina Silva regarding her platform’s promises, and asks where she will find the resources to fulfill those promises: “You say you will allocate 10% of GDP to education, 10% of revenue for public health, and free transport passes to students, which will cost R$140 million. Where will you get the resources?”

Marina Silva: “We will make efforts for the country to regain its efficiency in public spending. We have a great deal of waste in mismatched designs. To find the resources, we will make budgets with increased efficiency as society pays too much for choices made in the wrong direction. When the interests of the banks are subsidised, as Eduardo Campos said, people do not care where the money comes from. But when it comes down to education, free transport, there are questions.”

“You did not answer the question of how you will get the money. The rules state that you have to answer.” replies Dilma “The lady talked and talked but did not answer my question.”


Eduardo Jorge asks Dilma about Brasil’s prisons. “They look like concentration camps. How did this happen?”

Dilma responds: “The prison situation in Brasil is barbaric. So I have allocated R$1 billion for new prisons. There are a number of problems, state governments have found it difficult to install new prisons, sometimes because of resistance from municipalities. That’s why my administration has invested R$17 billion, double the budget of previous administrations, such as the Toucan (PSDB) government. I want the federal government to act along with the state. With a fragmented police, crime benefits. Let’s do what we did with the integration of control centers on the borders.”

Eduardo Jorge: “You insist on a senseless war”

“In fact we have to change the entire penitentiary strategy. Rehabilitating prisoners is essential. You must create avenues of education for the recovery of prisoners, Pronatec have a plan for this. In the case of prisoners held without guilt, we must accelerate prosecutions. I believe that an aggressive policy with regard to the recovery of prisoners is essential” Dilma concludes.


Luciana Genro of PSoL asks Aecio Neves about the security factor created by Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and accuses PSDB of disregard for retirees.

Aecio answers: “You agree with me that Brazil today is better than 15 or 20 years ago. It has been built with the ability of various parties and politicians. Had there not been the Cardoso government, and the stability of the currency, other advances would not have come. It was crucial, it the last great reformer government we had in recent decades in Brasil. Regarding retirees, we are discussing ways to ensure a decent settlement. “, “I am not President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, unfortunately. We need to control inflation that erodes the worker’s salary.”

Luciana Genro: “The proposals of the PSDB are breadcrumbs for retirees. Aecio, Rousseff and Marina favor the interests of banks and millionaires at the expense of the people. We must appreciate those who worked all their lives in Brasil.”


Aecio Neves speaks about technical recession and asks Eduardo. “Are you concerned with the management of the economy in Brazil?”

“Yes, this is the legacy that will be left for whoever is the replacement. In the view of PV, we disagree about the control of inflation via interest rates, ” Eduardo says “but I am surprised that Aecio agrees with me” he continues “as PSDB were quite generous with the 10 banks that control Brazil, who left behind starving industry, agribusiness and Brazilian workers.” the PV candidate continuing impressively from where he left off in the previous debate.


Marina Silva directs her question to fellow Evangelical Pastor Everaldo, with whom she is competing for that particular, and quite substantial vote: “We have a sad reality that half of municipalities do not have basic sanitation, and there are children under 14 living at home who have no sewage treatment How do you intend to face this serious problem of lack of sanitation? “

“We know the Federative Pact is destroyed. The Brazilian family has not only the lack of sanitation, we will fight for these resources, reach out to the prefectures so that arrangements can be made. The family has been attacked not only by sanitation, but the citizen can not walk around the corner, because the villain is on the loose. Today we have the problem of criminal responsibility, murderers and rapists, and the family is at the mercy of violence in this country. The family has been attacked in every way. And it has to be preserved.”says Evaraldo.


Pastor Everaldo then asks Levy Fidelix about their proposals for public safety, but the PRB candidate changes the subject to the privatisation of Petrobras, eventually returning to the subject of the question “It is absurd to the police earn little more than a thousand real and have to wait years to achieve a certain economic situation, we have to solve this issue by giving more money to improve prisons and fight the drug trade,” he continues “We should privatize the prisons, reduce criminal responsibility, improve border enforcement, improve education. Those who murder at 16, should be punished with reduced criminal responsibility.” , “We have a candidate who walks with these very evaders.” he adds, assumed to be an accusation directed at Aecio Neves.


PSoL’s Luciana Genro proposed an audit of public debt: “The problem of economic policy is what unifies the three candidates: Dilma, Marina and Aecio. The interest bill is the major factor of the imbalance. We have a situation where 40% of Brasil’s budget goes to support the 5000 richest families, as creditor of that debt with the banks. Brasil has 20 years primary surplus, which means that the money paid in taxes is saved to serve the interests of these families and banks. Meanwhile, health does not get even 5% of Brasil’s budget. PSoL proposes an audit of public debt to ascertain everything that makes up this system.”, “The three Siamese twins (Dilma, Marina and Aecio) will not and do not want to audit the public debt. That money is going to enrich a handful of millionaires” said Luciana Genro.



In the second phase of the debate, journalists ask questions of the candidates and choose another to comment.

Barbed question from Fernando Rodrigues to Marina Silva: “You received nearly R$1.6 million for speeches and will not reveal the companies that paid you this money. During this period, you also tried to create the Rede party and failed. Does this kind of transparency fit in with the “new politics” that you propose?”

Marina defends herself: “You have to separate my private life from the exercise of my professional activity. A confidentiality agreement is a requirement of the people who hire my work. I have no problem in that companies who hire me are revealed. Everyone knows that I give talks to bring the message of sustainable development in Brazil. It’s because I want to renew the policy that never submitted myself to the logic of seeking public office to survive. The life I worked as a teacher.” “If companies want to hire me reveal this data, I will not have any problem with that.”

Dilma says: “When you assume public office, transparency is a necessity, like we disclose our income tax. It is a new requirement in Brazilian politics and very welcome. The issue of governance includes transparency. No exercise of democracy should be problematic.”

Marina: “The Receita Federal is witness that I paid all my taxes with transparency. What could have been done is a comparison with other political leaders that give speeches, as I do, legally, as is the case of Lula and FHC. Let’s compare the lectures I gave to those of other leaders, so not to have double standards. Transparency should also include the R$500 billion for the BNDES which is outside the public budget.”


Dilma Rousseff is tackled by Fernando Canzian, who links pessimistic economic figures and the recent polls. Dilma: “Inflation is now close to zero and at the same time, credit is being extended. Exchange has grown for seven consecutive months and Brazil is amongst those who receive most inward investment. But the world economy has not yet recovered from the crisis: the United States had negative growth, as well as Japan and Germany. This demonstrates that the crisis is not over. I think we face that crisis, but without mass unemployment or falling wages.”

Marina responds: “Dilma was elected saying she would control inflation, boost growth. Today the population pays a very high price for poor quality of service. You only have to see the demonstrations that took place last June. When things are going well, the plaudits go to your government. When things go wrong is the fault of the international crisis.”

“Privatisation of the Central Bank can only hinder control of the economy” replies Dilma, referring to the economic proposals of Marina. “I remember those who said that the World Cup would go wrong. It may have gone wrong on the field, but not off, because the Brazilian government ensured its success. Pessimism is no way to begin, because you begin by giving up.”


Kennedy Alencar asks Aecio Neves if PSDB is corrupt (referring we assume to the yet unprosecuted Tremsalão Tucano scandal) “In the case of PT, there was a conviction in the largest Brazilian court, but the reaction of PT does not help the feeling and understanding of new generations that there is the same justice for all. I have said that we will build a new circle of governance that values ​​meritocracy, in which all complaints are investigated. I have absolute confidence that Brasil, starting in January, will begin a new cycle in which successive complaints affecting the government will be overcome. “

Dilma comments: “It is important to remember that in my government and that of Lula we strengthened the Federal Police, which conducted 600 investigations against corruption. We created a commission to combat money laundering. We respect the autonomy of the Attorney General, and there was wrong-doing in the practice of hidden processes. Corruption was never swept under the carpet in my government. “

Aecio: “None of these tools work for any of these complaints. All were presented either by the press or by the federal police. The government of Dilma, instead of allowing investigations to be run properly, tries to manipulate the information and now a manager of a business leaves his post almost like a confession. “


Patrick Santos asks Jorge Eduardo about drug legalization and abortion and points out the differences in the 2010 and 2014 campaigns: “It was a coalition between PV and Marina Silva. At that time, in order to make a coalition with Marina, it was not possible for us to include these topics, but they have always been in our plans, and now might arise. As a public health physician, I always supported and advocated it. I was the congressman who introduced the bill to legalize and regulate abortion, I was the first to argue that women who interrupt pregnancy could not be considered criminal.”

Marina responds: “When I entered the PV, I asked to make ​​a conscience clause in relation to some issues that I personally do not advocate, such as the issue of abortion. What I advocate is that this debate is made with care and responsibility. It is not easy because it involves ethical, moral and philosophical issues. Instead of discussing the merits, we use labels. I do not vilify anyone advocating the legalization of drugs or abortion. What I want is to, through a plebiscite, reach a conclusion on these issues. “

“This is the cowardice of the Brazilian leaders,” responded Eduardo Jorge.


Fernando Rodrigues asks Pastor Everaldo about the charges of assaulting his ex-girlfriend. “I, like everyone who marries, wish to maintain that marriage. I was married for 22 years with the mother of my children, but have not had the success of my parents who stayed married for many years. After my marriage, I had a relationship with said person and, unanimously, the Court held that these charges were unfounded. Today I am happily married with Esther who is here in the audience. My policy is always about the family, which is a wonderful asset.”, “I never assaulted anyone,” Everaldo reaffirms.

“… our families depend on marriage between a man and woman. I am against abortion, without a plebiscite. That’s what I’m defending, clear and consistent in my defense” said Pastor Everaldo , referring to the previous statements of Marina Silva.

Neves, citing the approval of the Maria da Penha Law, changes the subject to talk about prisons.


Luciana Genro again refers to Dilma, Marina and Aecio as the “three Siamese twins”.

Fernando Canzian asks Luciana Genro: “Your proposals are populist?”

Luciana: “I always say that Dilma, Marina & Aecio defend the interests of  banks and I defend the interests of the people who are in debt.”.

“I suspect anyone who says they defend the people, and propose a project that will allow the closure of this failed government cycle. The recovery of our industry. A project to replace the rigged machine of public meritocracy, as we did in Minas Gerais. All the commitments I have made are feasible ” responds Aecio Neves.

Luciana Genro: “It is clear that the candidate Aecio will suspect those who say they will govern for the people, because PSDB governs only for elites.”


Kennedy Alencar in the final question cites the ten applications of Levy Fidelix as supporting evidence of allegations that his party is opportunistic. “There is a persecution of parties seen as small, by a media that has been bought.”

Eduardo Jorge, asked for his response begins with a pause and answers, bewildered, “I have nothing to do with this.” to audience laughter.



In this third and penultimate phase, the candidates are able to ask eachother questions.

Dilma question to Marina: “Your government program has only one line regarding the Pre-Sal (Offshore deep Oil-fields), and that said that it was the wrong strategy. Why such disdain regarding this issue?”

“The Pre-Sal, which is a necessary resource, should be explored carefully, we can not have a vision of being just where the ball is. You need to go where the ball will be, seek new sources of energy. And Brazil has great potential for biomass, wind power. We want to combine the two. Brazil is already an energy giant by nature, “says Marina.

Dilma: “Pre-sal is one of the greatest assets of the Brazilian people, there are other riches, but the Pre-sal should be exploited to improve education and quality of healthcare – which only Pre-sal can achieve. This oil wealth is worth over R$1 trillion to Brasil, which can not be compromised. Next year Brasil will be the country with the second largest wind power production in the world. Oil can not be demonized as the woman does. “

“Petrobras today paid dearly for the choices it made. Companies were overpaid for, which the public now knows, and this is being investigated, ” says Marina, referring to the Pasadena refinery.

Dilma again mentions government figures and says: “The Pre-sal is our passport to the future.”

Luciana Genro asks Marina Silva: “The recipe of PT left the country ill, it went into recession. PSDB is not the best, and yet your economic policy is pretty much like them, the lady is a duplicate of PSDB? “

Silva responds “We recognise the historical gains of Brazilian reality, and recognize that economic stability was an achievement, but we want to recover the tripod of macroeconomic policy, something lost since 2010. We want to maintain the achievements and economic policy of Fernando Henrique government, and social policy achievements of the Lula government, which are being destroyed by the Dilma government. “, ” The Left can be as dogmatic as the Right”

Genro: “Marina, you can not govern for the people and for the capital. You can not make new policy giving the bankers, proposing autonomy of the Central Bank. Your commitment to equal marriage and the policy to combat homophobia in schools did not last 24 hours and the four tweets from Malafaia.”

“When I speak, I speak from my convictions. There is a mistaken view that beliefs are because you’re on this or that side. Incidentally, you have the same vision of the polarization of the PT and the PSDB. I have convictions that must sustain the gains and correct the mistakes “says Marina. “As for the change was due to a mistake the team made ​​in the process. We defend human rights ”  Marina says, defending herself further.


Rousseff: “It is not we, the presidents, who choose the good. Who chooses is the Brazilian people, by direct election” 

“We defend the autonomy of the Central Bank,” answers Marina Silva.

Dilma directs a comment to Marina: “The greatest risk that a person can take is not to commit to anything. To have only slogans and generic phrases. What happens when you’re President of the Republic is that you have to explain how you will do things, because it will have to do the very next day, not just give a list of things, a list of what is intended. And I believe there is still plenty to do in Brasil. I know because I tried to complete all our programs in education, health, mobility.”

Dilma attacks Marina: “A candidate without support in Congress can not have a stable government.”


Levy Fidelix asks Aecio Neves about mobility (and shoehorns in reference to his infamous pet “Aerotrem” project) and accuses the journalist Kennedy Alencar of “filthy language”.

“It is essential to partner with states and municipalities. The government delayed partnerships and transfers. Transport only inhabits the electoral program of PT. After 12 years, most of the works of mobility is not ready. We have to think sustainability, and mobility on rails is one way.” says Aecio. “PT lost a long period in which they could have been making investments, but the regulatory framework for the rail sector has not even been approved.”

“You have poor memory” replies Dilma. “The federal government gave financial support to Minas Gerais (while Neves was Governor) to building prisons and in the case of public transport, you forget that we have partnered with the state of Minas Gerais in all the works of urban mobility. The metro in Belo Horizonte and São Paulo Monorail were only thanks to funding from the federal government. “


Eduardo asks Aecio: “You defend lower interest rates, like PV?”

Aecio: “I want the interest charged by BNDES practiced throughout the economy, was an official proposal that failed, and more than 70% of the population want change. “

“What you going to do, lower interest rates to 5% or 6%? going to redistribute this money to the workers?” replies Eduardo Jorge.


Pastor Everaldo directed to Fidelix “We have cancer on society that is corruption. In fact there has never been so much corruption.”

Fidelix (pictured): “I know that I am not able to win, but I can point the finger, we have had enough.”




Marina Silva: “The winner will need a new attitude of being open to dialogue, not only making political struggle. It is essential that Brazilians do not lose hope. There is an effort to make you shrink in fear. “

Levy Fidelix: “I am not here to win anything, Kennedy Alencar. I am to defend the people” still bothered by the earlier question from the journalist.

Dilma Rousseff: “When I argue with emphasis on the accomplishments of my administration, it may seem that I am fully satisfied. And I’m not. There are advances being made. I was elected to continue advancing the progress of the Lula government. A more modern, competitive Brasil, with more opportunities to generate higher quality jobs. I was elected to ensure health, education and security, and want to be reelected to do so.”

Aecio Neves: “The Government failed and will deliver a poorer country than four years ago. I insist on reiterating that I believe in the good intentions of the candidate Marina, but she can not sustain the incongruities in her programme, which attacks the very one she fought four years ago.”

Luciana Genro: “The struggles of youth showed the country that the people want their rights, that people do not want more cases like Amarildo and Claudia. So I ask your vote and the opportunity for a coherent left. Human rights are not negotiable. “

Pastor Everaldo : “I am against abortion, without plebiscite. I am against the legalization of drugs. I am in favor of marriage between man and woman. I favor the reduction of criminal responsibility. I am in favor of freedom of the press without regulatory framework.” again returning indirectly to earlier statements of Marina Silva (pictured).