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Rousseff Wins Brazil Presidency in Runoff

Rousseff Wins Brazil Presidency in Runoff

Dilma Rousseff has been declared the winner of a presidential runoff election in Brazil, where she will succeed President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Rousseff was hand-picked by President Lula to carry on the work of Brazil's Workers Party and will become the first woman president in Brazil's history.

Election officials say Rousseff won 56 percent of the vote, while former Sao Paulo state governor Jose Serra received 44 percent.

Shortly after the results were announced, the president-elect gave a victory speech to party supporters in the capital, Brasilia. Rousseff thanked President da Silva for his support, and promised to carry on the work he started.

She said that the joy she feels for winning the election is mixed with sadness about President da Silva's departure. She said she faces a challenging task ahead, but that she will honor his legacy.

For five years, Dilma Rousseff served as chief of staff for President da Silva, who has overseen a period of economic expansion and a series of social improvements across the country.

The president-elect said one of her main goals will be to continue Mr. da Silva's efforts to combat poverty and create job for poor Brazilians, especially in rural parts of the country. Ms. Rousseff said the government cannot do it alone, and she called on businesses, churches and other groups to help.

Rousseff said Brazil should not rest as long as problems like homelessness, hunger and drugs continue to afflict the country.

Experts say that one of the key challenges facing Brazil's next president will be how to guide the country amid concerns about high government spending and a recent drop in exports.

In her victory speech, Rousseff said she will press for better trade agreements with foreign partners and work to resolve a currency imbalance that is hurting some Brazilian industries.

She also promised to reform Brazil's tax system and government spending to avoid inflation.

But the president-elect said no reforms should be allowed to cut spending for social programs, services or investments aimed at improving conditions for Brazilians.

The presidential inauguration is scheduled for January 1.