Latin America

Polls open in Brazilian general elections


Millions of people are casting their ballots in Brazil’s general elections in which the Brazilians are picking a president, state governors, all members of the lower house of Congress and a third of the Senate.

Polling stations opened at 8 a.m. local time (1100 GMT) on Sunday, and are set to close nine hours later. Exit poll results are expected as soon as the last voting centers close, with the first official results also expected around that time.

More than 142 million people are eligible to vote in a country of over 200 million.

In the presidential race, eleven candidates are vying for the top post. Environmental activist, Marina Silva, and social democrat, Aecio Neves, are facing an uphill battle to unseat incumbent President Dilma Rousseff.

According to the latest opinion polls, 66-year-old Rousseff of the Workers’ Party (PT) is in the lead with over 40 percent of the votes. Silva, 56, of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) has dropped to a third place with 21-24 percent of the votes, trailing Neves, 54, of the Party of Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB) with 24-27 percent.

Silva and Neves are battling to challenge Rousseff in a likely run-off on October 26.

On Sunday, Brazilians are also electing the governors of 27 states, filling 513 seats in the lower house of the Congress, and choosing 1,069 regional lawmakers, as well as one-third of the Senate.

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