Lula Won All Brazil’s Regions, But the South Preferred Alckmin

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who was re-elected Sunday, October 29, with a landslide 61% said he dreams with a Mercosur which represents "all Latinamerican countries".

"Nobody talks anymore about (US sponsored) FTAA (Free Trade Association of the Americas) and everybody talks about Mercosur", underlined Lula da Silva in one of his first statements celebrating victory in the runoff over Geraldo Alckmin.

"I have a dream, a dream of Mercosur representing all Latinamerican countries; it would simply be marvelous, extraordinary", said the Brazilian president.

He underlined he feels "a very special passion" for the sub regional group currently made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela and associate members Chile, Bolivia and Peru.

"When we first reached government in 2003 all you could hear was that Mercosur was over, talk was about FTAA and not about Mercosur".

Lula said that the block has already "incorporated Venezuela" and highlighted that "Argentines need Brazil and we Brazilians need  Argentina". He also promised that requests from the group’s junior members, Uruguay and Paraguay "will be catered".

He also praised the early Sunday morning agreement reached between Petrobras and Bolivia regarding the oil and gas nationalization policy implemented by President Evo Morales.

"Our Mining and Energy minister (Silas Rondeau) catalogued the agreement as extraordinary," emphasized Lula.

In São Paulo defeated Geraldo Alckmin wished President Lula luck and said he was at peace with himself.

"I’m happy, with my soul in peace: I did my utmost, I traveled all over Brazil with an integration, national development message", said Alckmin in a brief speech acknowledging defeat after having rung Lula to congratulate him. The former São Paulo governor promised to continue in politics.

President Lula was formally announced the winner of a second mandate extending until 2010 before 7:30 pm local time, two hours before expected.

"Candidate Lula da Silva has been re-elected" said the president of the Supreme Electoral Tribunal, Marco Aurélio de Mello.

With 98% of votes counted, Lula figured with 60.81% and Alckmin with 39.19%.

In the first round held October first, Lula garnered 48.6% and Alckmin 41.6%.

However, in spite of the comfortable victory President Lula and his Workers Party still face an investigation going back to a few days before the first round when top members of his party were surprised red-handed ready to purchase alleged incriminating evidence against Mr. Alckmin and other opposition candidates.

Federal Police also found in the hotel where the transaction was to take place almost a million US dollars cash ready to be handed over, the origin of which so far in unknown.

If the investigation finally proves President Lula da Silva was aware of the operation, his victory could be challenged before the Supreme Electoral Tribunal.

The Brazilian president was also encouraged by the incoming results of the runoffs in ten of Brazil’s 27 states. Candidates supported by Lula in Rio de Janeiro, Pernambuco, Paraná and Pará are winning.

But in the south of the country, Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina went for the opposition. Rio Grande do Sul is a strong blow for Lula da Silva, since it has been the Workers Party stronghold for years.

Mercopress

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