Rousseff Promises Unity after Hard-Won Victory


President Dilma Rousseff has promised to re-unite Brazil after narrowly winning re-election to a second term in office with 51.6 percent of the vote. She said “dialogue” would be her top priority after a bitterly fought campaign against centre-right candidate AecioNeves, who got 48.4 percent of the vote.The left-wing leader said she wanted to be “a much better president than I have been until now”.

Rousseff, who has been in power since 2010, remains popular with poor Brazilians thanks to her government’s welfare programmes. But she faced mass protests last year against corruption and poor services.

She won a hotly contested runoff election on October 26, arguably one of the tightest competitions in recent years. The President defeated Neves, a 54-year-old economist, who is a well-known name and a career politician. His campaign slogan promised reforms to lower inflation and encourage more investment in the country: “The sure path for Brazil to really change.” The pro-business candidate belongs to the Brazilian Social Democratic Party, one of the country’s strongest. The vote split Latin America’s biggest country almost evenly in two, along lines of social class and geography.Whereas Dilma Rousseff did well in the poorer northern states, her opponent from the Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB) took many of the wealthier and more developed southern parts of Brazil.

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