Rousseff narrowly wins second term in Brazil

Brazil's President and Workers' Party (PT) presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff gestures to photographers after voting in the runoff election in Porto Alegre October 26, 2014. REUTERS-Paulo Whitaker

Brazil’s President and Workers’ Party (PT) presidential candidate Dilma Rousseff gestures to photographers after voting in the runoff election in Porto Alegre October 26, 2014.

(Reuters) – Brazil’s leftist President Dilma Rousseff narrowly won re-election on Sunday after convincing voters that her party’s strong record of reducing poverty over the last 12 years was more important than a recent economic slump.

After one of the closest, most divisive campaigns in Brazil in decades, Rousseff won 51.6 percent of votes in a runoff against centrist opposition leader Aecio Neves, who won 48.4 percent with more than 99 percent of the votes tallied.

At a hotel in Brasilia where Rousseff was due to speak, party supporters waved red flags and jumped up and down, screaming in celebration.

In Sao Paulo, a stronghold of Neves’ Brazilian Social Democracy Party (PSDB), a more subdued mood was punctuated by some government supporters honking horns and screaming with joy.

Voting was peaceful and Brazil’s robust democracy is free of the political violence that mars some other countries in Latin America.

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