#AceNewsServices – BRAZIL (SÃO PAULO) – October 05 – The twists and turns in Brazil’s presidential race end Sunday, at least for a few hours, as millions of Brazilians cast ballots in an election expected to force a three-week run-off campaign between incumbent Dilma Rousseff and one of her two top challengers AP reported.
Português: Dilma Rousseff faz o primeiro pronunciamento como presidente eleita do Brasil (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Rousseff held a commanding lead in all recent opinion polls, with her support rising to 46 percent in a survey released Saturday. But it was thought unlikely she could push through to win the absolute majority required to avoid a second-round election.
Brazil’s next president is likely to be a left-leaning woman with a compelling life story. The only question is which one: the incumbent or her chief challenger?
As Brazilians prepare to go to the polls Sunday, the presidential race has become a surprisingly close contest between the country’s current leader, Dilma Rousseff, and challenger Marina Silva, who wasn’t even a candidate for president until less than two months ago.
English: 2010 Brazilian presidential candidates Dilma Rousseff, José Serra, and Marina Silva. Português do Brasil: Os candidatos à Presidência da República em 2010, Dilma Rousseff, José Serra e Marina Silva. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Since then, Silva, 56, has surged in popularity, in part because of her background — born to a large impoverished, illiterate family in the Amazon, and overcame diseases and menial jobs to become a successful political leader.
Family of Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff (left to right): Igor (brother), Dilma Jane Silva (mother), Dilma Rousseff (as a child), Zana Lúcia (sister), and Pedro Rousseff (originally Pétar Rusév; her Bulgarian father). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Rousseff’s background is no less intriguing. The daughter of an affluent Bulgarian immigrant turned lawyer-businessman, Rousseff, 66, became a Marxist guerrilla opposed to Brazil’s military dictatorship and was jailed while in her 20s. She rose through the political ranks to become Brazil’s first female president in 2011.
Until Silva’s surge in the polls, Rousseff had seemed a shoo-in for a second term despite a corruption scandal involving two dozen leading members of her ruling Workers Party (PT) and protests over the more than $13 billion Brazil spent to host the soccer World Cup tournament this year.
Surveys show the two women would be the top two finishers in Sunday’s election, which means they would compete head-to-head in the second round, in which Rousseff holds leads of varying sizes, according to the polls.
In recent days, polls have shown Rousseff gaining on Silva, sending Brazil’s stock market and currency down on investors’ fears that a continuation of her market-interventionist policies will fail to spark an economic turnaround.