World | South America

October 27, 2014

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff Narrowly Wins Re-Election

SAO PAULO - Despite opposition from nearly half of Brazil's voters, leftist President Dilma Rousseff won re-election on Sunday and will have another four years to try to revive growth in a once-booming economy gone stagnant.
Ms Rousseff said she wanted to be "a much better president" and promised political reform

Ms Rousseff said she wanted to be "a much better president" and promised political reform

The 66-year-old Rousseff, who was a Marxist guerrilla in her youth, overcame growing dissatisfaction with the economy, poor public services and corruption to narrowly clinch a second term for herself and the fourth in a row for her Workers' Party.

After a bitter, unpredictable campaign that pitted poorer Brazilians grateful for government anti-poverty programs against those exasperated with a stalled economy, Rousseff must now seek to continue flagship social services even as she tweaks economic policies to restore growth. Speaking to a relieved crowd of supporters on Sunday night in Brasilia, the capital, Rousseff acknowledged the close race and the call for change expressed by many voters.

"I know that I am being sent back to the presidency to make the big changes that Brazilian society demands," she said after winning the runoff election with 51.6 percent support. Her slim, three-point margin over centrist candidate Aecio Neves came largely thanks to gains against inequality and poverty since the Workers' Party first came to power in 2003. Rousseff's victory came just a year after massive street protests swept Brazil because many advances of the past decade had stalled.

 

Text by NBC
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