Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva heads to this Sunday’s, October 29, presidential runoff in Brazil as the favorite, according to a poll by DataFolha published Thursday, October 26, in Folha de S. Paulo.
A clear majority of 61% of decided voters would back the Worker’s Party (PT) incumbent. Former São Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin of the Brazilian Party of Social Democracy (PSDB) would finish second with 39%.
In the first round, held October 1st, Lula garnered 48.61% of the vote, while Alckmin 41.64%. Since no contender received more than 50% of all cast ballots, a runoff was scheduled.
Lula, several times presidential candidate, won the October 2002 election with 61% of the vote in a run-off against the PSDB’s José Serra. In the first round, Lula received 47% of the vote, and Serra 24%.
President Lula da Silva has managed to remain ahead in spite of several corruption scandals involving close aides and his Workers Party coalition.
Last year it was revealed that Congress members received monthly payments in exchange for support to Lula’s administration legislative agenda.
The money was skimmed from government corporations and the private sector and distributed through some of Lula’s most trusted and closest aides who were forced to resign.
In the last leg of this presidential campaign top officials from the Workers Party were caught red-handed by the federal police with almost a million US dollars ready to buy alleged incriminating information on Alckmin and other opposition candidates. The incident is blamed for having impeded Lula winning in the first round.
But President Lula’s charisma and campaign skills have helped him regain the clear lead. This week he warned supporters that an Alckmin victory would bring "a plan of privatization, a plan of inflation, a plan of unemployment and of submission."
Alckmin questioned whether Lula is no longer in touch with his roots, declaring, "Lula, the workers’ man, has become the bankers’ man."
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