Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Lula camp dejected and ticked off about election results.

Brazil: Lula camp is not in a good mood after not winning the runoff and complain about dirty tricks.

Mr Lula won 48.6 per cent of the votes, missing the 50 per cent plus one vote mark that would have secured the elections, while Mr Alckmin came second with 41.6 per cent. Polls predicted he would get 38 per cent - leaving the 29 October final vote wide open. "This is really a defeat for Lula. His attitude until now was 'I don't need to do anything, I'm going to win' but now he has to fight," said Franklin Martins, a political analyst. Analysts believe Mr Lula's once substantial lead evaporated as a result of a recent political scandal that led to the dismissal of his campaign manager and Workers' party (PT) president, Ricardo Berzoini, following an alleged smear campaign against rival candidates - an affair that the broadly anti-Lula press re-ignited this weekend by running photos of the supposed $800,000 (£424,000) in cash intended to buy the incriminating dossier. The opposition's perceived use of dirty tricks has enraged Mr Lula's dejected supporters. "I'm very sad, this result means that people want dirty campaigns: the opposition will now go after Lula, there will be a lot of personal attacks," said Manuel Mesias, 35. Next to him, Mariste Beu, 36, a teacher, added: "It's going to be very hard on all of us, but I'm still convinced we'll win." Sources close to Mr Lula told The Scotsman the mood in his campaign team was negative and tense even before voting had ended, helping explain why he convened an early morning meeting to relaunch his bid - a necessary step given that the economy's positive performance and the successful poverty reduction programmes do not appear to shield him anymore from an election defeat.

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