Brazilian presidential candidate and leader of the Brazilian Socialist Party, Eduardo Campos, was killed in a plane crash on Wednesday, according to the television channel GloboNews. Campos was ranked third in the most recent presidential polls and his death will likely forestall the South American country’s upcoming elections, slated for Oct. 5.
In the latest polls, Campos had about 10 percent of the electorate behind him as the Brazilian election cycle was heating up, trailing behind President Dilma Rousseff, who had 36 percent, and Senator Aecio Neves, who had roughly 20 percent. The tragedy, however, will likely trigger both candidates to suspend their campaigns out of respect for the Socialist Party leader.
Heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Eduardo Campos and the people of Brazil. What an awful tragedy. pic.twitter.com/g7VMRtcHUP
— Julia E. Sweig (@JuliaSweig) August 13, 2014
A trained economist, Campos was a congressman and then became the governor of Pernambuco state — in Brazil’s northeast– where his political stock soared after successfully fighting poverty in his home state and instituting structural reforms in labor and education. That track record earned him strong backing from the business community, despite his left-leaning political views.
The private jet that Campos was reportedly aboard crashed in bad weather in the southeastern city of Santos. GloboNews reported that seven people, including Campos, were on board the plane and that five people had been taken to the hospital.
— Portal R7.com (@portalR7) August 13, 2014
Although not yet confirmed, it is expected that Campos’ running mate, Marina Silva, will succeed him as the Brazilian Socialist Party’s candidate.