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Polls Show Lula Losing Reelection in Brazil to Josí© Serra

Brazilian opposition candidate José Serra has become the top presidential contender in Brazil, according to the latest public opinion poll by Ibope. Elections are scheduled for October 2006.

Almost 36% of respondents said they would vote for the current São Paulo mayor and Brazilian Party of Social Democracy (PSDB) member in the next election.

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva from the Workers’ Party (PT) is second with 29% followed by Anthony Garotinho of the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party (PMDB) with 10%, former PT member and independent senator Heloí­sa Helena with 5% and Roberto Freire of the Socialist People’s Party (PPS) 2%.

Lula – a three-time presidential candidate – won the October 2002 election with 61% of the vote in a run-off against Serra. In the first round, Lula received 47% of the vote, while Serra garnered 24%.

Another rising star for the presidential dispute scheduled for October 2006 is São Paulo state governor Geraldo Alckmin who in the first round would loose with President Lula by eight points, 30 to 22%, with Garotinho in third place, followed by Helena and Freire.

However in the run off, president Lula and governor Alckmin are almost tied 41 to 40% and in the main prospective scenario Lula trails Serra by 14 points.

The Brazilian government has been the target of criticism after Brazilian Labor Party (PTB) member Roberto Jefferson declared that members of two political organizations – the Liberal Party (PL) and the Progressive Party (PP) – received monthly payments from the Workers Party in exchange for support in the legislative branch.

Jefferson has so far provided no evidence to back his allegations but several of the alleged Congress members have since resigned or are facing inquiry committees.

The DataFolha/Folha de S. Paulo poll interviewed 3.636 adults, between December 13 and 14, with a margin error of 2%.

Mercopress – www.mercopress.com

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