Former guerrilla Dilma Rousseff set to be the world’s most powerful woman

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The world’s most powerful woman will most probably be Dilma Rousseff. Stocky and forceful at 63, this former leader of the resistance to a Western-backed military dictatorship (which tortured her) is preparing to take her place as President of Brazil.

By Independent, Hugh O’Shaughnessy, Sunday, 26 Sep  2010

Dilma Rouseff. Foto: Palácio do Planalto (Official photo, Presidência da República Federativa do Brasil)
Dilma Rouseff. Photo: Palácio do Planalto, Wikimedia (Official photo, Presidência da República Federativa do Brasil) January 9th, 2011.

As head of state, president Dilma Rousseff would outrank Angela Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor, and Hillary Clinton, the US Secretary of State: her enormous country of 200 million people is revelling in its new oil wealth. Brazil’s growth rate, rivalling China’s, is one that Europe and Washington can only envy.

Her widely predicted victory in next Sunday’s presidential poll will be greeted with delight by millions. It marks the final demolition of the “national security state”, an arrangement that conservative governments in the US and Europe once regarded as their best artifice for limiting democracy and reform.

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