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Tough rivalry ahead in Brazil runoff between incumbent president, opposition senator

October 06, 2014, 11:27 UTC+3 RIO DE JANEIRO

Both candidates failed to gain more than 50% of votes required for a victory in the first round

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RIO DE JANEIRO, October 6. /TASS/. An acute political rivalry is expected in a presidential runoff in Brazil due on October 26.

Incumbent President Dilma Rousseff from the Workers’ Party and former senator Aecio Neves from the Social Democracy Party will vie in a presidential runoff, as both candidates were leading in the first round.

Rousseff and Neves have gained 41.55% and 33.61% of votes, respectively, after more than 99.5% of ballots have been counted. So, no candidate succeeded to gain more than 50% of votes required for a victory in the first round.

All public opinion polls predict that Rousseff, 66, will win in the runoff. She has succeeded to pursue a fruitful policy to combat poverty which lifted millions of Brazilians to the middle class. However, her re-election is not guaranteed at all, experts said in their forecasts. For next three weeks the head of state will have to withstand an upsurge of criticism over slowdown in domestic economic development rate and unsettled long-standing problems in health care and education systems.

Neves, 54, will seek to gain the protest votes as much as possible. In the last few weeks before presidential elections he has become more popular gradually, pledging reforms aimed at quicker economic growth, particularly to simplify taxation system and cut state expenditures.

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