The 2014 presidential election was brutal. Candidates reached a level of aggression we were not accustomed to seeing in Brazilian politics. Fighting for re-election, Workers’ Party candidate Dilma Rousseff overused negative campaigning against her adversaries, saying they would actively work to “take food away from Brazilian tables.” In the runoff stage, Ms. Rousseff and her opponent, Aécio Neves of the center-right Social Democracy Party (PSDB), presented few proposals to avoid an economic crisis – choosing instead to rely on personal attacks to win votes.
The aftermath of such a bitter dispute could not be positive. In her victory speech, Ms. Rousseff denied that the country was divided and did little to offer an olive branch to her opponents. The reaction to the electoral results was even worse on the losing side. Mr. Neves said the president had won thanks to voter fraud, without the election showing the slightest indication of foul play. From that moment on, the Social Democracy Party did everything in its power to sabotage Dilma Rousseff’s second term.