Happy Brazilians ready to elect first female leader
Brazilian voters, largely content with their country's booming economy, went to the polls yesterday and were expected to hand a convincing victory to the pragmatic hand-picked successor of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva despite a wave of last-minute corruption scandals.
Pre-election polls indicated that Dilma Rousseff, a former top Lula aide who is running for her first elected office, could muster just enough votes to surpass the 50pc level she needs to avoid a October 31 runoff.
Rousseff, a 62-year-old former leftist militant aiming to become the first woman to lead Brazil, has for the last month enjoyed a 20-percentage-point lead over her nearest rival, opposition candidate Jose Serra.
More than 20 million Brazilian have been lifted from poverty under Lula's eight-year rule.