Feature

Fourth time’s a charm

The week's news at a glance.

Rio de Janeiro

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was trounced in three previous bids for Brazil’s presidency, but this week he left the competition far behind. Da Silva, known to Brazilians as Lula, won 47 percent of the vote, not quite enough to avoid an Oct. 27 runoff with his closest rival, José Serra of the centrist Social Democrats. The country’s 115 million voters have long been wary of da Silva’s socialist platform, but many Brazilians soured on the government’s free-market policies as the economy tanked. Da Silva, who could become the first leftist president in four decades, remade his image by jettisoning some radical ideas, such as defaulting on Brazil’s foreign debt. Instead, he pitched plans to create jobs. “Lula has learned from his errors,” said Fábio Barcellos, an economist.

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