Sunday, October 01, 2006

Brazil, Austria Voting results so far.

World: Brazil voting results has Lula trying to avoid a run-off.

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva was battling to secure the votes needed to clinch an outright victory in Sunday's presidential election after public disgust over corrupt politics eroded his support in the final days of campaigning. Failure by Lula to win more than 50 percent of the vote would mean he faces a run-off against his closest rival on Oct. 29. That could unite the opposition against him and give them more time to dig up further evidence of campaign wrongdoing by his ruling Workers' Party. Preliminary results showed that with 80 percent of the vote counted, Lula had 49.6 percent and his main challenger, former Sao Paulo State Gov. Geraldo Alckmin, had 40.6 percent.
Update: Lula failed to win over 50%. On to the runoff. Austria results are the centre-left won but they may be stuck having to form a coalition with the People's Party.
"....The Social Democrat, who needs at least 92 seats for a majority in the 183-seat lower house, doesn't have enough seats to form a coalition with the Greens alone and has excluded alliances with the anti-immigrant Freedom Party or Joerg Haider's Alliance for Austria's Future. The Freedom Party took 11.2 percent of the vote or 21 seats, the Greens 10.5 percent or 20 seats and the Alliance, Schuessel's current coalition partner, 4.2 percent or 8 seats. ``A grand coalition led by Gusenbauer is the most realistic option,'' said Peter Hajek, an analyst at the OGM polling institute in Vienna. ``It looks as if they will even be forced to form a coalition as they lack alternatives.'' The distribution of seats may change if the Alliance falls below 4 percent, the threshold for getting into Parliament, after all 420,000 postal votes are counted by Oct. 10, though analysts say the Social Democrats' lead is too big for the People's Party to overcome. Should the Alliance fail to win any seats, that might open the way for a coalition between Gusenbauer and the Greens. ``The result is a very deep disappointment,'' Schuessel, 61, who's been in power since February 2000, said on national television in Vienna tonight. ``We'll have to thoroughly analyze what went wrong here.''
Update: The far right Freedom party and Haider's party got 15.4% of the vote making them players.
"....While the extreme right did not match its best result — 27 percent in 1999 — it remains a force. A sign of that, analysts said, is that the anti-immigrant talk honed by Mr. Haider in the 1990’s has become part of the political mainstream. Although the major parties deplore the xenophobia of the far-right parties, they have strengthened their stance on immigration issues. The People’s Party has toughened requirements for Austrian citizenship, while the Social Democrats have promised to crack down on crimes committed by foreigners. “They don’t say, ‘We’re going to be tough on foreigners’; they say, ‘We’re going to be tough on illegal immigrants,’ ” said Herbert Lackner, the editor of Profil, a political magazine. Only the Green Party called for more tolerance, and it finished fourth behind the Freedom Party. Many Austrians are convinced that the European Union’s expansion will flood the country with people bent on taking their jobs. The new twist, since the heyday of Mr. Haider, is that this suspicion now has an anti-Muslim tinge. “In the 90’s, anti-immigration rhetoric was focused on rising crime and asylum seekers from the Balkans,” said Peter Paul Hajek, a political analyst at the Austrian Marketing Institute, a polling company. “Now it’s more about the clash between Islam and Christianity.” With these inconclusive voting results, Austria finds itself in a position similar to Germany after its election last year. The two major parties may be forced into a grand coalition, since the extreme right parties have discouraged talk of a coalition with the People’s Party. In a television interview on Sunday, Mr. Schüssel focused on the problems dogging Chancellor Angela Merkel. “Looking at Germany,” he said, “one can see it is not so easy.” "

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