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BRAZIL
Lula captures a second term
Inter Press Service, Latinamerica Press
11/2/2006
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With 60.8 percent of the valid votes, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was re-elected in a landslide victory Oct. 29 to another four-year term. The Brazilian leader topped his opponent, Geraldo Alckmin, candidate of the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, who captured only 39.2 percent.

Nearly 126 million people went to the polls to cast their votes, 58 million of which — 11.6 million more than in the Oct. 1 first round — went to Lula, according to the Superior Electoral Tribunal, the country’s highest electoral authority. Alckmin won 37.5 million votes, a 2.4 million-vote-drop from the first round. The abstention rate reached 19 percent, and 6 percent cast blank or spoiled ballots.

The results indicate a strong recovery in voter support by the Brazilian leader, whose Workers’ Party has been marred by corruption scandals involving high-ranking directors, ministers and legislators since 2005.

Lula, a 61-year-old former metal worker, attributed his victory to the "wisdom of the Brazilian people." In his first speech after the results were announced, he said Brazil’s poor would be a priority for his new government, which begins Jan. 1.

"The adversary to beat now is social injustice," he said.


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