Inconclusive poll leaves Brazil set for run-off vote
Ruling-party candidate Dilma Rousseff, who is trying to become Brazil's first female leader, fell short of getting a majority of votes in presidential elections and now faces a run-off in four weeks against an experienced, centrist rival.
Ms Rousseff - popular president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's hand-chosen successor - beat rival Jose Serra 46.9 per cent to 32.6 per cent in Sunday's vote, but didn't get the 50 per cent she needed to win outright.
Much now depends on the other female candidate, the Green Party's Marina Silva, who won a surprising 19.4 per cent of the vote. She said her party's leadership would decide whether to throw their support behind Ms Rousseff or Mr Serra.
Ms Rousseff, a former Marxist militant who was imprisoned and tortured under Brazil's military dictatorship, long ago left behind her rebel background and has made a career as a pragmatic bureaucrat, most recently serving as Mr Silva's chief of staff.
Much of Brazil's electorate barely knew who she was just a few months ago, but her popularity skyrocketed after it became clear she was Mr Silva's candidate. The president enjoys approval ratings near 80 per cent and has transferred much of that popularity to Ms Rousseff.
Mr Silva, who is legally barred from seeking a third term, was also forced into second-round votes in his 2002 and 2006 presidential victories.
"We are used to challenges. Traditionally, we have fared well in the second round," Ms Rousseff told supporters in Brasilia. "I'm confident the second round will provide an important process of elucidation, of dialogue with representatives of society."
Mr Serra said his Brazilian Social Democracy Party was "going to march to victory" in the 31 October runoff vote.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 23 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North east