Brazil presidential candidate Campos killed in plane crash

SANTOS, Brazil, (Reuters) – Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos was killed in a plane crash today, throwing the October election into disarray and causing big swings in local financial markets.

Campos’ private jet crashed in bad weather as it prepared to land in the coastal city of Santos, just south of Sao Paulo, killing all seven people on board, the Sao Paulo state fire department said. Television images showed smoke billowing from the crash site in a residential area.

Campos, 49, was in third place in recent polls with the support of about 10 percent of voters. While he was not expected to win the Oct. 5 vote, he was perceived by some as the most market-friendly of the three main candidates and his death will set off an intense, if respectful, scramble for his supporters in a tightening election.

President Dilma Rousseff, who is leading the race, announced she would suspend all campaigning for three days in mourning. Senator Aecio Neves, the centrist candidate running in second place, said he was “immensely saddened.”

Rousseff is leading in polls with about 36 percent of voter support. Neves has enjoyed about 20 percent support and was widely expected to face Rousseff in a second-round runoff.

Eduardo Campos
Eduardo Campos

Campos, a former governor of the northeastern state of Pernambuco, was running as a business-friendly leftist and had strong support from many banks and industrial groups. His death could see Marina Silva, his running mate, become the Brazilian Socialist Party’s candidate.

Silva was not aboard the plane that crashed. She placed a strong third in the 2010 presidential election and enjoys robust support from young voters and evangelical voters, but her pro-environment agenda means that many in Brazil’s powerful agribusiness sector distrust her.

The entry of Silva into the race could actually increase the odds of Rousseff facing a runoff, Brown Brothers Harriman said in a note to clients.

“She is very well known and arguably has a closer electoral base to (Rousseff),” the bank said in the note.

Brazil’s main stock index lost as much as 2 percent following initial reports that Campos was on the crashed plane, but later regained ground and was almost unchanged in early afternoon trade. The currency also fell sharply on news of Campos’ death but later bounced back.

Brazilian markets have in recent months risen when polls show Rousseff’s popularity slipping, or increased odds of her losing her quest for a second term. The left-leaning president has alienated many business leaders with her interventionist policies as Brazil’s economy has been stagnant for most of the period since she took office in 2011.

On Tuesday night, Campos was in Rio de Janeiro for an interview with the country’s most-watched nightly news program. Several pundits praised his performance as confident and authoritative, and said he might rise in polls as a result.

More in World News

default placeholder

In contrast to Trump, Obama lays out optimistic vision for U.S.

PHILADELPHIA,  (Reuters) – President Barack Obama painted an optimistic picture of America’s future in a speech yesterday aimed at giving full-hearted support to Hillary Clinton to help her defeat Republican rival Donald Trump and become the first woman elected U.S.

default placeholder

Trump draws ire after urging Russia to find ‘missing’ Clinton emails

MIAMI/WASHINGTON, (Reuters) – Republican Donald Trump on Wednesday invited Russia to dig up tens of thousands of “missing” emails from Hillary Clinton’s time at the U.S.

Otto Perez

Guatemalan judge charges former president in bribery case

GUATEMALA CITY, (Reuters) – A Guatemalan judge yesterday charged former President Otto Perez with money laundering and bribery in a massive corruption case in which 52 others were also accused, including former ministers, business people and lawyers.

default placeholder

U.S. President Reagan’s would-be killer Hinckley to go free

(Reuters) – John Hinckley Jr., who wounded U.S. President Ronald Reagan and three other people in a 1981 assassination attempt prompted by a deranged obsession with actress Jodie Foster, can be freed from a psychiatric hospital to live with his mother, a federal judge ruled yesterday.

default placeholder

U.S. diplomatic strategy on South China Sea appears to founder

WASHINGTON,  (Reuters) – In the lead-up to an international court ruling on China’s claims in the South China Sea this month, United States officials talked about rallying a coalition to impose “terrible” costs to Beijing’s international reputation if flouted the court’s decision.

default placeholder

Clinton makes history, wins U.S. Democrats’ White House nomination

PHILADELPHIA, (Reuters) – Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton secured the Democratic Party’s 2016 nomination for the White House yesterday, becoming the first woman to head the ticket of a major party in U.S.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: