Leftist guerilla turned dour technocrat wins Brazil presidency (+ analysis); Clinton has China warning for Cambodia as she tours Asia-Pacific; US Fed to make crucial stimulus decision this week; What to do about Yemen?; and more
Top of the Agenda: Brazil's Rousseff Wins Presidency
Dilma Rousseff, a former leftist guerrilla and cabinet minister in Brazil, handily won (WSJ) the country's presidential runoff election Sunday after failing to win 50 percent of the votes in early October. Rousseff won 56 percent of the votes, compared with 44 percent for rival Jose Serra, in a victory aided by the economic prosperity and popularity of her predecessor and supporter, President Luiz Inacio Lula de Silva. She ran on a message of extending da Silva's legacy, which focused on exchange-rate stability and increased social welfare spending. A major challenge for Rousseff will be matching the personal charisma of her predecessor, as she is widely regarded as a dour technocrat with little popular appeal (FT). Many economists also say unwieldy public spending must be reined in to allow Brazil to reduce its high interest rates and deliver needed investment in infrastructure and public services. Some fear Rousseff--who is expected to exploit the country's newfound offshore oil wealth and expand the state's role in the energy sector--may over-expand the government's role the economy (MercoPress).
The Economist says Rousseff's pick for finance minister and central bank head will show whether she is serious about reining in public spending, which is rising faster than its income.
This Reuters Factbox outlines key political risks to watch for in Rousseff's presidency, on government spending, currency, corruption, oil and gas, mining, and foreign policy.
In Foreign Affairs, CFR's Julia Sweig says Brazil must not let an overly ambitious foreign policy agenda distract it from lingering domestic challenges.
PACIFIC RIM: Clinton Urges Independent Cambodia vis-à-vis China
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed Cambodia to maintain an independent foreign policy from China (WashPost) during a pan-Asian tour aimed at expanding US diplomatic influence in the region.
Japan: An election later this month (WSJ) in Okinawa, the Japanese island that houses a controversial US military base, is threatening efforts by Japan and the United States to strengthen security ties, even as regional tensions draw them closer together.
This is an excerpt of the CFR.org Daily News Brief. The full version is available on CFR.org