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Last updated at 17:02 BST, Thursday, 07 October 2010

Next Brazilian president could be a woman


4 October 2010

Former Minister, Dilma Rousseff, won the first round of the presidential election contest in Brazil yesterday. However, she failed to win more than 50 per cent of the valid votes. This suggests that people voting may have changed their opinions.

Rogerio Simoes

Current Brazilian President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva

Current President, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.


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Two weeks ago, opinion polls for the Brazilian presidential elections suggested that Dilma Rousseff, the government's candidate, would become the country's first female president with a resounding first round victory. But following allegations of bribery involving Dilma Rousseff's former aide and rumours on the internet about her stance on abortion, her support fell during final days of campaigning.

The majority of those who abandoned her seemed to have chosen Green Party candidate, Marina Silva instead. A former Environment Minister in Lula's administration, Ms Silva is also a devout evangelical Christian, which might have helped her attract religious votes, worried over Rousseff's apparent support for the legalisation of abortion.

Marina Silva was unable to book herself a ticket in the second round, but claimed an impressive 19 per cent of the valid votes. Main opposition candidate, former Governor Jose Serra, from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, who collected 33 per cent of the votes, will now try to lure as many of Ms Silva's supporters as he can in order to turn the game and achieve what would be a historical win.


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significant or substantial


illegal payments to influence a person in a position of power


assistant to a person with an important job


position or attitude towards something


operation to end an unwanted pregnancy


deeply committed or dedicated

evangelical Christian

religious person with enthusiastic belief in the bible, who wants to share his/her faith with others

unable to book herself a ticket

unsuccessful in winning enough votes


tempt or attract

turn the game

go from losing to winning (the vote)

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