BRASILIA Aug 21 The Brazilian Socialist Party's
campaign manager quit on Thursday hours after environmentalist
Marina Silva became its presidential candidate, causing a rift
in her team just 45 days before the election.
Carlos Siqueira, a close aide to the party's late leader
Eduardo Campos, who was killed in a plane crash last week, said
he could not work with the new candidate and someone else should
Silva, a popular anti-establishment figure whose candidacy
has shaken up Brazil's Oct. 5 presidential election, said
Siqueira's departure was a "misunderstanding." Party officials
said another campaign manager would be named by the end of the
Silva joined the PSB less than a year ago after failing to
register her own party in time for this year's general election.
The lesser-known Campos picked her as his running mate to draw
her large number of supporters.
His death on Aug. 13 thrust Silva into a presidential race
that she could win, according to an opinion poll published on
Monday that showed her just ahead of President Dilma Rousseff in
a second-round runoff between the two.
Silva accepted the party's nomination on Wednesday and
insisted on naming her own aides to joint positions with PSB
officials as campaign manager, treasurer and policy coordinator.
Silva, a 56-year-old pioneer of Brazil's environmental
movement, entered politics to fight for Amazon conservation and
earned the wrath of the country's powerful agribusiness lobby as
environment minister a decade ago.
To defuse opposition in the agriculture sector, the PSB
picked Beto Albuquerque, a farm-friendly congressman from Rio
Grande do Sul state and a supporter of genetically modified
crops, as her running mate.
Silva's team quickly made changes to the PSB campaign,
announcing on Wednesday that contributions would no longer be
accepted from companies that make fertilizer, cigarettes,
alcoholic drinks and guns.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle and Maria Carolina Marcello;
Editing by Steve Orlofsky)