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Government-backed Candidate Wins Brazilian Congressional Leadership Election

A member of Brazil's governing coalition has become the head of the lower house of Congress in key election victory for the administration of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Communist Party lawmaker Aldo Rebelo defeated opposition candidate Jose Thomaz Nono in a 258 to 243 vote Wednesday.

The 49-year-old politician replaces Severino Cavalcanti, who resigned last Wednesday amid a corruption scandal that has also damaged support for Brazil's president.

Mr. Cavalcanti has denied allegations that he accepted almost $50,000 in bribes from a catering company.

Several members of Mr. da Silva's government have been accused of bribing lawmakers to win votes in congress.

The latest political developments follow a recent poll showing only 29 percent of those surveyed approve of the government, down from 35 percent in June.

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