Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff took first place in Sunday’s presidential election but failed to avoid a second round run-off.
After an intensely competitive campaign the leftist leader polled more than 41 percent.
Rousseff and her supporters are putting a brave face of her chances in the second round on October 26.
“The outcome is a simple message, a message that says that I should go forward, that I should continue in this fight side by side with each one of these voters to change Brazil,” Rousseff told her party faithful after the runoff was confirmed.
However, Rousseff now faces a showdown with the energetic centrist candidate Aecio Neves who made a dramatic late surge to finish a strong second polling more than 33 percent.
“It was a victory for change,” said Aecio Neves.“The opposition candidates got the majority of the votes. We will continue united to win the election in the second round to give Brazil an honourable and efficient government.”
Marina Silva who’s a prominent environmentalist, had recently led opinion polls. But a series of negative TV ads and doubts about her shifting opinions saw her come in third with 21 percent.
It is Silva who now holds the key to the eventual winner. She has hinted lending her support to Neves as both candidates prefer market-friendly policies after 20 years of left-wing politics.