Welcome back, Dilma?

At 8:30 p.m., on October 26, Dilma Rousseff was officially re-elected as Brazil’s president.

Following intense debate between the two candidates, false and dirty advertising, cheap shots from both parties, and major controversy within the Graded community, the representative of the Partido dos Trabalhadores (PT) has maintained power. For the previous week at Graded, campus lockers had been covered in pro-Aécio stickers, only now to be dampened by the tears of those favoring the Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira (PSDB).

Many even chose to wear black shirts this past Monday as a protest towards the elections, claiming that the result signified Brazil’s funeral. Some even said, jokingly, that São Paulo should fight for its independence and follow the examples set by activists in Scotland and Catalonia. Others said this seriously, including Colonel Paulo Telhado from PSDB and Paulo Batista of the Superman ad.

Some here at school, of course, are content with the election results, and claim that Rousseff’s actions have made meaningful differences in international relations and in local communities, such as Paraisopolis. However, many remain concerned about corruption charges. A member of the Graded community who wished to remain anonymous commented, “Dilma is the perfect symbol of feminism to me, and it embarrasses me, as a strong supporter of her actions, when I hear of these accusations of corruption linked to her party. This can’t continue, and I hope she sticks to her word.”

Debate went so far that there was a Facebook post between the sophomores with 123 comments on whether or not there was a point to engaging in protest. Newsfeeds were clogged with disputes. The country still remains divided from the 51.64-48.36% result, certainly a close call.

Aécio wished Rousseff success and noted that Brazil’s main priority should be to remain united. Though it was especially disappointing for him to lose the state in which he governed, he was grateful for the overall support in the elections, and hopes that in the future his party will be elected. He is going to continue his role as a senator. Meanwhile, some of his campaigners hope for an impeachment to take place and are going out to the streets.

Rousseff said that the separation in this election mobilized ideas and emotions that at times overstepped each other, but now, it was time to focus on common goals for a better future. During her victory speech, she highlighted combatting corruption, appealed to economists and the market, and guaranteed that she would fight to build bridges with her opponents in order for Brazil to remain prosperous.

Graded students remarked in interviews about the election. A high school student who wished to stay anonymous stated, “The results of the 2014 elections were not only disappointing, but very discouraging for Brazilians who once believed in the power of change. Regarding their families, businesses, and the general well-being of their beloved nation, the Brazilian people fail to see any traces of hope that the situation of their country will improve both socially and economically.”

Sophomore Ricky Bilton added, “The 2014 election was a failed opportunity for change, from an economic standpoint—the future seems obscure for a country once known for its potential.” Others felt that Brazilians had protested like never before, only to vote like they always had. “Brazil finally woke up… and went right back to bed,” remarked one high school student.