In a couple of hours Dilma Rouseff (PT) will oficially be announced as winner of the 2010 election. January 1st 2011 she takes over as Brazil’s next president.
Dilma will, for a number of reasons, have a harder time governing Brazil than Lula had.
- She has less history, less political support and a narrower mandate within PT than Lula. Lula was one of the founders of PT in the early 1980’s, he ran for president three times and lost before finally winning in 2002. He is the most popular president in Brazilian history, and could allow himself to say and do things that PT not necessarily liked or agreed. Dilma joined PT only in the early 2000’s, and has never won or even participated in an election before. Dilma’s government will be more of a PT government, possibly creating problems for Dilma.
- The same aspects as mentioned above (history, support, mandate) combined with less pesonal carisma and less talent for bringing people together to reach compromises, will make it more difficult for Dilma to manage the very broad collection of political parties and interest groups in her coalition. An argument to the contrary is that Dilma’s coalition has a more solid majority in Congress than Lula ever had.
- Dilma’s vice president, Michel Temer, president of Brazils biggest party PMDB, is a very experienced but not very «modest» politician. PMDB are closer connected to Dilma’s base than Lula’s, and they will not give away their support for free. Ideological and political differences between PT and PSDB could become more of a problem for Dilma than for Lula.
- Dilma does not have Lula’s teflon surface. Media attacks will probably hit her harder than Lula. Would Dilma have survived the mensalão corruption scandal in 2005 if she were president?
- She will from day 1 be compared to the successful Lula Government. That’s a hard act to follow.
- Finally, Lula himself will not disappear from the political scene. Dilma states it will not be problematic at all, but she could find it troublesome to have the most popular president in history giving her advices all the time.