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Brazilian Candidate Lula To Face Jose Serra in Oct. 27 Runoff - 2002-10-07

Brazil's left-wing presidential candidate, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, says he is looking forward to a runoff election later this month, after falling a few points short of winning an absolute majority Sunday. Mr. da Silva will face centrist Jose Serra on October 27.

Smiling and holding upraised hands with his party leaders in a demonstration of victory, Mr. da Silva told reporters in Sao Paulo he is more encouraged than ever as he looks forward to the second round.

He said the Sunday's elections showed that 76 percent of the Brazilian electorate voted for opposition presidential candidates indicating, he said, they voted for changing the current economic model.

Mr. da Silva, a former union leader, won 46 percent of the vote, finishing far ahead of his three main rivals for the presidency. Former health minister Jose Serra finished second with 23 percent, and will face Mr. da Silva in the October 27 runoff election.

Mr. Serra campaigned on promises to create more jobs and maintain the current government's free-market reforms. Mr. da Silva is calling for change in an economic model he says has failed to bring prosperity to Brazil the world's ninth-largest economy.