• Short Summary

    Forty-seven million Brazilians go o the polls on Wednesday (15 November) to elect a new 420-seat cabinet of Deputies and one third of the 66-sea federal senate.

  • Description

    TV Firecrackers being set off in crowd at election rally in Nova Iguacu, Brazil.

    CU senator Nelson Carneiro, Brazilian Democratic Movement member, greeted by woman.

    SV PAN FROM Crowd TO Senator Roberto Saturnine Braga addresses crowd in Portuguese.

    GV PAN FROM Posters TO crowd ZOOM INTO Wellington Moreira Franco, Mayor of Niteroi speaking.

    Duque de Caxias in Rio state ZOOM OUT FROM SV election posters TO crowd listening to General Figueiredo, the President-elect.

    CU General Figueiredo and crowd listening. (2 SHOTS)

    TV PAN OVER Crowd at rally.

    Radio and television campaigning for the election was restricted by the government. Candidates were only allowed to state their name, party and brief biographical details. The MDB complained that this seriously affected its chances in a country where few people read newspapers.

    Initials JS/2230

    Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved

    Background: Forty-seven million Brazilians go o the polls on Wednesday (15 November) to elect a new 420-seat cabinet of Deputies and one third of the 66-sea federal senate. Only the two legal parties, the pro-government National Renewal Alliance Party (ARENA) and the opposition Brazilian democratic Movement (MDB) are contesting the elections. Newspaper polls predict a narrow victory for the ARENA party, which supports the right-wing military government. As election day approaches, both parties are campaigning vigorously in Rio de Janeiro state.

    SYNOPSIS: On Thursday (9 November) supporters of the MDB gathered in Nova Iguacu, thirty-five kilometres (20 miles) from Rio de Janeiro. Senhor Nelson Carneiro, was a senior candidate a the rally.

    Roberto Saturnine Braga also addressed the meeting. Both he and senhor carneiro are hoping to be re-elected for a further four-year term. Senhor carneiro is a senior but still very active member of the current parliament He was an ardent supporter of the divorce law, passed in Catholic Brazil earlier this year.

    The meeting was also addressed by senhor wellington Moreira Franco, Mayor of Niteroi, which faces Rio de Janeiro from the other side of the Guanabara Bay. The MDB wants immediate restoration of democratic institutions in Brazil, an end to arbitrary government powers and amnesty for political prisoners and exiles At the last elections in 1974 the MDB gained 160 seats. Changes in the electoral system since then have reduced the number of seats to be contested in areas where MDB support is strongest.

    The last large rally of the government ARENA party took place in Duque de Caxias in Rio de Janeiro state on Saturday (11 November). Chief speaker was President-elect, General Joao Baptista Figueiredo, who will take office next March. ARENA supports the gradual liberalisation policies advocated by General Figueiredo. The latest opinion poll puts ARENA just ahead of MDB, but even if the opposition wins a majority in the chamber of Deputies, ARENA's domination of the Federal Senate would still restrict the MDB's power. Opposition leaders hopes a good showing in the elections will force the government to speed up implementation of its reform programme.

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