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Brazilian Presidential Candidates Hold Final Rallies Before Runoff


Brazil's presidential candidates have staged their final campaign rallies ahead of Sunday's runoff elections.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva pledged to continue his policies of lifting the nation's poor during a rally Wednesday in a working class neighborhood in Sao Paulo. He told his supporters that former Sao Paulo state Governor Geraldo Alckmin, his rival in Sunday's runoff, would privatize state-owned industries and change Brazil's economy for benefit of the rich.

During his final campaign rally, also held in Sao Paulo, Mr. Alckmin brought up the recent scandals that have engulfed Mr. da Silva Workers' Party. The Social Democracy Party candidate said President da Silva has betrayed his working class roots by forming alliances with the banking industry.

Mr. da Silva was the top vote-getter in the October 1 balloting, but fell short of the majority needed to win a second term. He was elected in 2002 as Brazil's first working-class president, and has been credited with stabilizing the country's economy and anti-poverty social programs.

Despite the allegations of corruption within his party, recent opinion polls show Mr. da Silva with a commanding lead over Mr. Alckmin.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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