Latin America & Caribbean

Eduardo Paes re-elected as Rio de Janeiro mayor

Eduardo Paes posing with his children
Image caption Eduardo Paes won a second term as mayor of Rio with a record result

Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes has been re-elected with an overwhelming majority in the first round of Brazil's municipal elections.

Mr Paes from the centrist Democratic Movement Party will be in charge when Rio hosts the 2016 Olympics.

In Sao Paulo, Jose Serra of the Social Democratic Party will face Fernando Haddad of the governing Workers' Party in the second round.

More than 5,000 mayoral posts were up for election across the country.

With almost all the voted counted, Mr Paes had 64.6% of votes, the Supreme Electoral Tribunal announced.

He was far ahead of the his main rival Marcelo Freixo of the left-wing Socialism and Freedom Party.

Backed by a coalition of 20 parties, Mr Paes campaigned on a promise to improve transportation and the health and education sectors in the city.

'Hard work'

Mr Paes will be running Rio when the city stages key matches, including the finals, of Fifa's 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 Football World Cup.

And as mayor, he will be the host of the Olympic Summer Games in 2016.

Mr Paes promised to "work hard and treat the citizens with a lot of respect".

Image caption Celso Russomanno suffered a surprise defeat in the first round of Sao Paulo's mayoral election

Olympic and Fifa officials have in the past expressed concern that many of the city's major building project are behind schedule, including the renovation of the Maracana stadium.

Activists say many of the planned roads and rail lines will run through some of Rio's poorest neighbourhoods, forcing the eviction of those living there.

In a surprise result in Sao Paulo, high-profile former champion of consumer rights, Celso Russomanno, failed to make it into the second round of the mayoral election.

He was beaten into third place by Fernando Haddad of President Dilma Rousseff's Workers' Party.

Mr Russomanno had led opinion polls for weeks but had seen a drop in support in the last few days before polling which he blamed on fierce attacks from his two leading opponents.

The second round will he held on 28 October.

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