Brazilian Greens 'neutral' in presidential vote

Brazil's Green Party opted yesterday to remain neutral in the country's 31 October presidential runoff, saying the move could help members gain leverage and participate in the nation's political debate more actively.

Marina Silva, a former environment minister, said at a party convention in Sao Paulo that not aligning herself with any candidate allows her to serve as a "moderator" in national politics.

The renowned Amazon defender finished a strong third in the first round of voting on 3 October and was credited with forcing the race to a runoff between the ruling party candidate Dilma Rousseff and her opponent, a former state governor Jose Serra.

"We should place ourselves in a position as moderators," she said. Both camps have aggressively courted Ms Silva.