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Global March welcomes election of new Brazilian President

1st November 2010: Global March welcomes the news that Ms Dilma Rousseff has been elected President of Brazil to succeed President Lula da Silva. Ms Rousseff, who takes up office on 1st January 2011, will become the country’s first woman president.

In her victory speech, she said her first priority would be to lift 20 million Brazilians out of poverty. “I reiterate my fundamental promise: the eradication of poverty,” she said. “We must not rest while there are Brazilians going hungry.” She went on to state that her election as the country’s first female leader was a sign of the democratic progress Brazil had made. As well as targeting poverty, a further priority of Ms Rousseff is to reinforce equality between men and women at every level.

The new President is expected to continue the policies of President Lula, with emphasis on government efficiency, expanding the role of the state in some sectors such as mining, and upgrading the country’s infrastructure. A former Marxist rebel who was jailed and tortured in 1970-72 for resisting military rule, Ms Rousseff trained as an economist and worked her way up through local and state governments. She joined President Lula’s cabinet as energy minister in 2003-5 and then became his chief of staff.

Speaking following the announcement of the election results, Mr Kailash Satyarthi, Global March Chair, said: “We welcome the news of Ms Rousseff’s election which we feel is the best result for the ongoing socio-economic progress in Brazil. Brazil is rapidly emerging as an economic power in the region and globally and has many positive lessons in strengthening social justice to share with other nations. Brazil has been a strong supporter of IBSA activities, including the recent workshop on child labour organised by our partner the ICCLE in Washington in April 2010 and we believe that with Ms Rousseff following on the policies of President Lula that the role of IBSA will continue to grow. It is also a positive outcome in the light of the next Roadmap 2016 follow-up event to be held in Brazil in 2013 and we look forward to working with incoming President Rousseff and her administration.”