[www.inewsguyana.com] – President Dilma Rousseff has promised to re-unite Brazil after narrowly winning re-election to a second term in office with 51.6% of the vote.
She said “dialogue” would be her top priority after a bitterly fought campaign against centre-right candidate Aecio Neves, who got 48.4% of the vote.
In her victory speech, Ms Rousseff said she wanted to be “a much better president than I have been until now”. She said she understood she had to “make the big changes society demands”.
She faced mass protests last year against corruption, record spending on the football World Cup and poor services.
Ms Rousseff, who has been in power since 2010, is popular with poor Brazilians thanks to her government’s welfare programmes.
But the vote split Latin America’s biggest country almost evenly in two, along lines of social class and geography. The president said that during the campaign “the word repeated most often was change and the idea most often invoked was reform”.
“Sometimes in history, close outcomes trigger results more quickly than ample victories,” she said.
“It is my hope, or even better, my certainty that the clash of ideas can create room for consensus, and my first words are going to be a call for peace and unity,” she told a cheering crowd in the capital, Brasilia.
“Instead of widening differences and creating a rift, I have the strong hope that we can use this energy to build bridges.”
She also thanked her supporters, especially her political mentor and predecessor in office, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. “I thank from the bottom of my heart our number one militant, President Lula.”
Her Workers’ Party (PT), which has been in power since 2002, will now govern for another four-year term starting on 1 January 2015, but with a considerably weaker mandate than before.
The divided nature of the vote was palpable in Sao Paulo, where disappointed supporters of Mr Neves chanted “Kick the PT out!” while PT voters waved flags and celebrated in the streets.
Mr Neves admitted defeat and thanked the “more than 50 million Brazilians who voted for the path to change”.
He said that the “overriding priority is to unite Brazil around an honourable programme worthy of all Brazilians”. [BBC]