Jose Serra

Mayor of Sao Paulo, Brazil

In 2002, Jose Serra was the presidential candidate of the incumbent Partido da Social Democracia Brasileira, the Social Democratic party of Brazil, but lost the election to now president Luis Inacio Lula da Silva. In 2004, he successfully ran for Mayor of Sao Paulo city, elected in the second round with 55% of the votes.

Serra is often considered a skilled administrator and a learned politician. He is one of the leading figures in Brazil's politics. In the early 1960s, Serra was President of the Uniao Nacional dos Estudantes (National Student's Union). During Brazil's military regimen (1964-1984), Serra's political rights were suspended and he was exiled to Santiago de Chile. After returning to Brazil in the 1980s, Serra was elected to the Brazilian House of Representatives and Senate.

During Governor's Franco Montoro's term in Sao Paulo state, Serra was appointed Secretary of Economics and Planning. Later, as Federal Minister of Health, his administration was marked by substantial successes in fighting AIDS. By legalizing drug production and use without payment of royalties, public treatment costs drastically went down. His efforts were praised by the United Nations, and his strategies were adopted by a number of other developing nations.

Since becoming Mayor, Serra's name has cropped up in the media as a possible party candidate against Lula in 2006. Mayor Serra's current mandate expires on December 31, 2008.

Focus: Democracy, Economy, Governance, Health, Brazil, Americas

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Last Updated: Sep 22, 2006

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