Brazil's Marina Silva launches 'sustainability party'

Former Brazil environment minister Marina Silva Marina Silva spoke to hundreds of supporters as she announced the creation of a new political party

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In Brazil, a former presidential candidate and environment minister has launched a new political party, Sustainability Network, ahead of next year's presidential elections.

In a speech to hundreds of supporters in the capital, Brasilia, Marina Silva stressed the party's green credentials.

According to Brazilian law, nearly 500,000 signatures are needed to officially register a party.

Ms Silva came third with nearly 20m votes in her 2010 presidential bid.

Launching the new party, Marina Silva ruled out taking either a pro or anti-government stance.

The former Amazon activist did not say whether she would run for president next year, although that is widely predicted.

It is expected that her allies will follow her into the new party, but so far no other major politician has announced that they intend to join.

Little is known about the overall political objectives of the network, apart from a firm commitment to the environment.

The new party is said to want to copy US President Barack Obama's funding model for his presidential campaigns, largely internet-based and geared towards individuals.

'Herd mentality'

Marina Silva also said she intended to break the "herd mentality" that most parties have.

Her career took off while she was in former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's PT Worker's Party, who appointed her as environment minister in 2003.

During her five years as a minister, she reinforced her reputation as a tough advocate of the environment, which eventually made her ministerial position difficult.

Citing problems in carrying out her job, Ms Silva resigned in 2008, being replaced by the pragmatic environmentalist Carlos Minc.

Since her surprising success in 2010 as the Brazilian Green Party's presidential candidate, Marina Silva has watched her political influence grow, even though she left the party a year later.

In 2012, Marina Silva was personally invited to be the only Brazilian to carry the Olympic flag at the opening of the London Olympics, raising eyebrows within the Brazilian government.

After several years without membership of a party, she finally presented her Sustainability Network on Saturday.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    It is rich to hear her saying she wants to break the herd mentality, since she is a new born christian and creationist.
    The main contributor to this new party is a big banker (partner at Ita├║). And she run for president with the owner of Natura as vice (cosmetics maker with a net of environmental interests).
    During her first and last year as a environment minister, deforestation actually grown.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Interesting timing! The internet is the main voice of opposition to the appointment of Renan Calheiros to head of the upper house of the Senate. So it makes sense that a candidate (new party) look to capture new voters through a model so successful in the US. Many especially younger voters have lost faith in the older political parties especially now corruption is being publically challenged.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    I believe the idea of a "Sustainability Party" is the biggest news here. I hope this spreads globally. What happens in this particular case, at least now in the beginning, is less of a news to me (to other commenters, whether Silva or anyone does this, the dice is cast).

    We need new ideas that are not the "green, environmental" movement with which most people cannot relate. Make sense stuff.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    The simple naming of a party anoints sustainability as a central societal value and political alternative. With an economy that systematically destroys the biosphere and a natural capital "debt overhang" equal to a 5-planet ecological footprint that is unfixable with traditional economic policy, if Silva can create a platform around Natural Capitalism, she may create a force for change worldwide.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    She could possibly be a potential candidate and make the different if she didn't surround herself with traditional politicians.


Comments 5 of 16


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