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How Brazil's Rousseff Can Be a Better President

Having squeaked to victory, she needs to move the economy forward
Reelected Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff gives a speech after her win on Oct. 26
Reelected Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff gives a speech after her win on Oct. 26Photograph by Evaristo Sa/AFP via Getty Images

In her victory speech after winning reelection to a second term as president of Brazil on Oct. 26, Dilma Rousseff said, “I want to be a much better president than I have been until now.” That shouldn’t be too hard; she’s presided over an era of political division and economic stagnation.

Rousseff’s margin of victory over Aecio Neves was the slimmest in any presidential contest in three decades. Meanwhile, the economy entered a recession last quarter, and inflation is running above its targeted range. Brazil’s budget deficit is widening, and its credit rating is in peril. On news of her reelection, the country’s markets and currency promptly tanked.