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Early Returns Show Da Silva Winning First Round in Brazil's Election


Early partial returns from Brazil's Presidential race Sunday show leftist candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva easily defeated his three main rivals with 47 percent of the vote, not enough to avoid a second round later this month. In second place is centrist former health minister, Jose Serra, with 25 percent of the vote.

The returns show Mr. da Silva fell short of the absolute majority of votes needed to avoid a second round. The government's candidate, Jose Serra, finished second, thereby getting the chance to run again for the presidency.

Mr. da Silva, a bearded former union leader, came into Sunday's election as a heavy favorite. Making his fourth run for the presidency, Mr. da Silva moderated his leftist rhetoric of the past that had brought about his previous defeats. Instead, he campaigned on promises to revive a stagnant economy, and bring change to Brazil, but without a radical shift to the left.

Mr. Serra, a former health minister in the current government, campaigned on promises to create jobs, and maintain the government's free market reforms. But stagnant economic growth over the past two years hurt his candidacy, and kept his support low. The two candidates will face each other in a runoff election on October 27.