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BRAZIL
Brazilians elect first woman president
11/4/2010
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Dilma Rousseff wins easily in second round.

With 56 percent of the valid votes, Dilma Rousseff, candidate of outgoing President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva´s left-leaning Workers´ Party, became Brazil´s first elected woman president on Oct. 31, edging out São Paulo state Gov. José Serra, of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, who won 44 percent.

The 62-year-old former guerrilla cruised to her victory on strong support by Lula, who leaves office with 80 percent support after two terms in office.

She has said she will continue Lula´s social programs such as the sweeping “Zero Hunger”initiative that is credited with bringing 24 million Brazilians out of poverty over the last eight years.

Extreme poverty affects 8 percent of Brazil´s 200 million people, despite a US$1.5 trillion-economy and projected economic growth of 7.5 percent this year, and Rousseff, who takes office on Jan. 1, has promised to stamp it out by 2014.

Rousseff becomes the sixth woman in Latin America to be elected president after Nicaragua´s Violeta Barrios de Chamorro (1990-97), Panama´s Mireya Moscoso (1999-2004), Chile´s Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010), and Cristina Fernández in Argentina and Laura Chinchilla in Costa Rica, who are currently in office.
—Latinamerica Press.


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