Brazil's Socialists name Silva to replace party's presidential candidate killed in plane crash



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Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate Marina Silva, right, and her running mate Beto Albuquerque, celebrate the launch of their candidacy for the presidential elections at the headquarters of the Brazilian Socialist Party in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)


Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate Marina Silva, speaks during the launch of her candidacy for the presidential elections at the headquarters of the Brazilian Socialist Party in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)


Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate Marina Silva, right, embraces her running mate Beto Albuquerque, during the launch of their candidacy for the presidential elections at the headquarters of the Brazilian Socialist Party in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)


Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate Marina Silva, celebrates the launch of her candidacy for the presidential elections of Brazil, at the headquarters of the Brazilian Socialist Party in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)


Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate Marina Silva, listens in during launch of her candidacy for the presidential elections of Brazil, at the headquarters of the Brazilian Socialist Party in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)


Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) vice presidential candidate Beto Albuquerque, listens to PSB presidential candidate Marina Silva during the launch of their candidacy for the presidential elections of Brazil, at the headquarters of the Brazilian Socialist Party in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)


Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate Marina Silva speaks to the press after attending a Mass in honor of late presidential candidate Eduardo Campos at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Campos was aboard a small private jet that crashed on Wednesday, Aug. 13 into a residential area in the southeastern port city of Santos. He had been running third in polls, and was replaced by environmentalist Marina Silva. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)


Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) presidential candidate Marina Silva attends a Mass for late presidential candidate Eduardo Campos at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Brasilia, Brazil, Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Campos was aboard a small private jet that crashed Wednesday, Aug. 13 into a residential area in the southeastern port city of Santos. He had been running third in polls, and was replaced by environmentalist Marina Silva. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)


RIO DE JANEIRO — Environmentalist Marina Silva announced Wednesday that she will be the new presidential candidate for Brazil's Socialist Party a week after its previous candidate was killed in a plane crash.

Silva, who had been Eduardo Campos' vice presidential running mate, met with members of the party in Brasilia who officially approved her as the new candidate.

The decision was widely expected. Party members and Silva's associates had said over the weekend that the main leaders had already chosen her to run in Campos' place.

The party also announced that Beto Albuquerque, who heads the party in the House of Representatives, will be Silva's running mate.

Campos had been polling in a distant third behind President Dilma Rousseff of the Workers Party and the centrist candidate, Aecio Neves. But polls since Campos' death have shown Silva is running neck and neck with Neves.

Silva, 56, was environment minister from 2003 to 2008 under Rousseff's predecessor as president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. She won international praise for her work preserving Brazil's Amazon rainforest.

But she broke with the Workers Party in 2009 to join the Green Party, which she represented in the 2010 presidential election, winning nearly 20 percent of the votes.

Many political analysts say Silva may be a stronger candidate than Campos and could at least thwart a first-round victory for Rousseff on Oct. 5. Her main support comes among Brazilians unhappy with sluggish economic growth, high taxes and poor health care and education.

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