Serra Nominated to Run for Brazilian Presidency, Vows `Sustainable' Growth

Jose Serra, former governor of Sao Paulo, Brazil’s wealthiest and most populous state, today received his party’s nomination for president and vowed to grow the nation’s economy in a “sustainable way” if elected.

Accepting the nod from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, the country’s biggest opposition group, Serra said the country must no longer be the nation with the highest interest rates in the world and the biggest tax burden among developing nations.

“It’s the lack of infrastructure that creates production shortages and threatens to accelerate inflation in Brazil,” he said today during a speech in Bahia state capital of Salvador.

Serra has the endorsement of the second biggest opposition party, the Democrats, and of the Popular Socialist Party, to compete against President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s former Cabinet Chief Dilma Rousseff, who is set to be confirmed tomorrow as the presidential candidate of the Workers’ Party, also known as PT.

Lower House President Michel Temer was today selected as the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party candidate to run for vice president on Rousseff’s ticket. The parties of Temer, known as PMDB, and Rousseff work as allies in the government.

Serra’s party, PSDB, as it is known, hasn’t yet picked a candidate for vice president.

Any delay in that selection may affect the election, said Brasilia University political scientist Flavia Biroli. “Political alliances in the states” will be withheld as a result, she said in an interview yesterday.

No Running Mate

Representative Joao Almeida, PSDB’s leader in the Lower House, sees no negative consequences to not having a ticket mate for Serra.

“We have until July 5 to decide, according to electoral regulation. There is plenty of ocean to be sailed,” he told reporters today in Salvador.

Rousseff and Serra are tied ahead of October’s election, according to an Ibope poll published on June 5.

Each were supported by 37 percent of those surveyed, while 9 percent backed Marina Silva, the former environment minister, the Rio de Janeiro-based poll showed. Eight percent of the 2,002 voters polled were undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

‘Three Pillars’

Lula, barred by the constitution from a third consecutive term, had crossed the country with Rousseff, 62, in a bid to boost her candidacy, since she has never held elective office.

Serra’s PSDB party held the presidency from 1995 through 2002 under Fernando Henrique Cardoso. Serra lost a presidential runoff in October 2002, taking 39 percent of the vote to Lula’s 61 percent.

PT and PSDB candidates promise to comply with the so-called three pillars of the economy: inflation targets, floating currency rates and spending austerity, JPMorgan Chase & Co. said in a report to clients on May 27.

Serra is less impartial about the country’s interest rate policy, the bank reported. He claims that the monetary authorities make mistakes and the country’s president must point it out when it happens.

Rousseff “vehemently” defended the autonomy of the country’s Central Bank during a May 21 appearance in New York. She also said that the government should consider reducing the inflation target between 2011 and 2014, according to JPMorgan’s bulletin.

To contact the reporter on this story: Maria Luiza Rabello in Brasilia at mrabello@bloomberg.net

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