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Brazil's Ruling Party Suffers Major Political Defeat

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's ruling leftist Workers' Party has suffered a major defeat after losing the post of speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress in a vote early Tuesday.

Congressman Severino Cavalcanti of the small Progressive Party got 300 votes, while Mr. da Silva's nominee, Luiz Eduardo Greenhalgh received 195.

Mr. Cavalcanti is quoted by the Associated Press as saying he will be a speaker for all members of Congress. His election marks the first time in 20 years that a president's choice for the job has not been picked.

As speaker of the lower house, Mr. Cavalcanti will control which bills proceed in the lower house and when votes are held.

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