Few of even President Dilma Rousseff’s most ardent supporters would claim charisma is one of her principal electoral assets. Still, even by those standards, her victory speech on the evening of 26 October, following the closest presidential election in Brazil since 1894, was remarkably graceless. After berating the malfunctioning microphone, and expressing irritation at her supporters’ wild enthusiasm, Rousseff gave a speech calling for “dialogue” which neglected to mention her opponent, Aécio Neves, or even acknowledge the 48.3% of the electorate who voted for him.

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