Rousseff's main ally eyes Brazil's presidency in 2018

viernes 15 de mayo de 2015 09:58 GYT

By Silvio Cascione and Anthony Boadle

BRASILIA May 15 (Reuters) - For the last 20 years, Brazil's largest political party has not once fielded a presidential candidate, instead content to partner with the eventual winner to retain a share of power.

No longer, it appears.

The Brazil Democratic Movement Party (PMDB), which for many Brazilians epitomizes a self-serving political class living off pork barrel, is now pushing its own legislative agenda as it gears up to make a run for the presidency in 2018.

PMDB sources told Reuters it is reviewing its policy program and preparing to abandon its 12-year-old alliance with President Dilma Rousseff's left-wing Workers' Party (PT) for the next election.

An umbrella party that was tolerated during the 1964-1985 military dictatorship, the PMDB has no defined ideology but is broadly more pro-business and socially conservative than the PT.

It is an amorphous agglomeration of regional bosses who often represent contradictory interests and seldom have united behind their own presidential candidate. Instead, they have allied themselves with whoever is in power, be it the PT or the centrist Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), which ruled Brazil between 1995 and 2002.

Still, the PMDB has great power in Brazil today.

It controls both houses of Congress and the vice presidency, with the power to push through or block legislation.   Continuación...