Speed Reads

elections

President of Brazil narrowly wins re-election in runoff vote

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff defeated a pro-business opponent to be re-elected in Sunday's runoff election, after having previously won a plurality in the first round of the election earlier this month. Reports AP:

Rousseff took 51.6 percent of the votes and center-right challenger Aécio Neves had 48.4 percent, with almost all ballots counted. The result reflected a nation deeply divided after what many called the most acrimonious campaign since the return to democracy, with charges of corruption, nepotism, and ample personal barbs thrown by both sides.

The re-elected leader faces an immense challenge of reigniting a stalled economy, improving woeful public services that ignited huge anti-government protests last year, and trying to push political reforms through a highly fragmented congress where the governing coalition has less support than it did four years ago. [AP]

Her victory provides a fourth straight election victory for the Workers' Party, which first came to office in 2002 with the election of still-popular former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva — though each successive victory has also been narrower than the one before it.

In her victory speech tonight, Rousseff said that she "thanks from the bottom of my heart, our number-one militant, President Lula."