Menu

World

Opposition leader in Brazil joins Socialists for next year's presidential election

  • 9693b7fc923f5c213f0f6a70670038b5.jpg

    Marina Silva, left, a former senator and environment minister, and Pernambuco state Gov. Eduardo Campos, raise their arms as they celebrate her alliance with the Brazilian Socialist Party that will allow her to compete in the upcoming presidential election, in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. Silva, the top-polling opposition candidate for next year's presidential election, had failed to obtain enough signatures to register her new party, Brazil's top electoral court ruled Thursday evening, keeping her from competing unless she signed on with another party. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)The Associated Press

  • 59c718ca92445c213f0f6a7067000fe0.jpg

    Marina Silva, left, a former senator and environment minister, sings her country's national anthem, during an event announcing her alliance with the Brazilian Socialist Party that will allow her to compete in the upcoming presidential election, in Brasilia, Brazil, Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013. Silva, the top-polling opposition candidate for next year's presidential election, had failed to obtain enough signatures to register her new party, Brazil's top electoral court ruled Thursday evening, keeping her from competing unless she signed on with another party. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)The Associated Press

Popular Brazilian opposition leader Marina Silva announced Saturday that she was joining forces with the Socialist Party ahead of next year's presidential election, a decision that came after the top electoral court ruled against the creation of her new party.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal ruled on Thursday that Silva had failed to obtain enough signatures to register her own Sustainability Network party. As a result, the former senator and environment minister could only be a candidate by signing up with an existing political party.

She had until the end of Saturday to make her decision.

At a news conference, she indicated she would not be a presidential candidate saying the Socialist Party "already has one," Pernambuco state Gov. Eduardo Campos. She declined to say if she would be his running mate.

Recent polls suggest that Silva, who served as environment minister under President Dilma Rousseff's predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, had emerged stronger from the mass protests that swept Brazil in June and caused the popularity ratings of several top politicians to plummet.

A poll conducted in early August by Datafolha, one of Brazil's top polling and statistic firms, said she was the preferred candidate of 26 percent of registered voters. Rousseff received the support of 35 percent. Datafolha questioned 2,615 people on Aug. 7-9. The margin of error was plus or minus two percentage points.

Silva won international accolades for her efforts to help preserve Brazil's Amazon rainforest during her tenure as environment minister.

She split with Rousseff's Workers Party in 2009 over policy differences and joined the Green Party. She ran for president in 2010 and won a surprising 20 million first-round votes, but it wasn't enough to get on the second-round ballot.