One hundred forty three million votes later and incumbent Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, can take a deep sigh of relief after coming out on top in the first round of the presidential elections.
She shouldn’t hold her breath for too long though, as Rousseff will have another round of elections to face. If the current international political trend that does not favors incumbents is anything to go by, she will have to fight viciously to hold on to power.
According to The Guardian, Dilma Rousseff emerged as the winner of the first round of elections with 42 percent of the vote. When the polls closed on Sunday, she managed to gain the edge over both of her opponents; Aécio Neves of the pro-business Social Democratic party who got 34 percent of the vote, and former environment minister Marina Silva who took 21 percent of the vote.
Reuters has reported that Dilma Rousseff will have to face Neves in a runoff election after failing to amass the 50 percent of votes that would have adverted the need for a second round of elections.
Neves’ lead over Silva has come as a surprise to many, as polls leading up to the elections had placed her neck and neck with President Rousseff. According to The Inquisitr, Silva had risen in popularity after she replaced her senior socialist running mate Eduardo Campos, who died in a plane crash on August 13. However, she then faced a tough campaign against Rousseff, who attacked Silva’s credibility over her inconsistent political affiliations.
President Dilma Rousseff is now in a strong position to secure a second term. Surveys suggest she will win a second-round vote against Neves by 48 percent to 42 percent. But momentum is on Neves’ side, and Silva could yet throw her support behind the challenger, so another surprise cannot be ruled out when the polls open again on October 26.
While the coming weeks will no doubt stir up left-right animosity between the nation’s two biggest parties, from which both candidates come, political analyst are already predicting a fierce campaign that will focus squarely on economic issues.
This, of course, is Neves’ forte, and he will have a lot to campaign on as it regards Dilma Rousseff’s economic policies. According to BBC News, he will characterize her as an idealistic socialist who will burden the country with more state spending and drive the economy into the ground, while she will cast him a heartless capitalist who cares nothing for the poor.
There is no doubt, this election will not be easy for Dilma Rousseff.
[Image via AP]