Latin America & Caribbean

Brazil crowds attend funeral of late candidate Campos

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Media captionHuge crowds attended the funeral and filled the streets of Recife

More than 100,000 people in Brazil have paid their last respects to the late presidential candidate, Eduardo Campos, who died in a plane crash on Wednesday.

They attended a funeral Mass and filled the streets of the city of Recife to follow the passage of his coffin.

Later this week, Mr Campos's Socialist Party is expected to appoint former Environment Minister Marina Silva as a replacement candidate.

Mr Campos's jet crashed in bad weather in Santos, near Sao Paulo.

Investigators are still trying to establish the exact causes of the crash, which killed six other people.

Mr Campos's private plane - a Cessna 560XL - was travelling from Rio de Janeiro to the sea-side resort of Guaruja, near the city of Santos.

President Dilma Rousseff, who's running for re-election in October, was among many prominent politicians who travelled to Recife for the funeral.

Part of the crowd booed Ms Rousseff, a former political ally with whom Mr Campos fell out last year.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption A huge procession accompanied the coffin to the local Santo Amaro cemetery for burial
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Earlier, supporters of Mr Campos gathered outside the governor's head office in the state capital, Recife
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Mr Campos's running mate is expected to be appointed as a replacement candidate
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was a close friend of Mr Campos
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Ms Rousseff, who is running for a second four-year term, is leading the opinion polls

Opinion polls showed Mr Campos in third place in the race for president, behind senator Aecio Neves and the front-runner, Ms Rousseff.

Mr Neves, who will represent the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), also attended the funeral.

'Responsibility and commitment'

Mr Campos, 49, came from a traditional political family in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco.

He was a popular state governor for seven years and left office earlier this year to run for president.

On Wednesday, leaders of his Socialist Party will meet in Sao Paulo to make a decision on his replacement.

Party leaders have said that Ms Silva's appointment seems to be the best option.

Ms Silva, an environmentalist and devout evangelical, also fell out with the Workers' Party government and ran for president in 2010. She polled surprisingly well, getting nearly 20% of the vote.

During the Mass for Mr Campos, she was cheered by the crowd and encouraged to pursue his ideal.

Last October, she agreed to run as vice-president alongside Mr Campos after the Electoral Court refused to register her political movement, Rede Sustentabilidade (The Sustainability Network) as a party.

She has so far refused to confirm whether she will succeed Mr Campos in the presidential race.

But as she arrived in Recife on Saturday for the funeral she told journalists: "I have a sense of responsibility and commitment".

The first round of the presidential election will take place on 5 October and will go to a second round later that month if no candidate receives more than 50% of the votes.

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