Brazil is preparing for a re-match of the country’s top two political leaders after the weekend’s presidential election failed to produce a clear winner. Leftist President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva won the ballot but not by enough to be declared the outright winner so he must face his nearest rival, Social Democrat Geraldo Alckmin, in a run-off election.
Many Brazilians expect the next vote to be closer. Lula had a commanding lead for much of the run-up to the election but his popularity, based on improved economic conditions for the country’s poor, was severely undermined by a scandal linked to his campaign. Members of his Workers’ Party were caught trying to buy a dossier aimed at linking Alckmin’s party to a kickback scheme. Alckmin campaigned as a corruption-free alternative to the current leader and it seems to have paid off.