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Last Updated: Monday, 10 October 2005, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
Lula's party votes for new leader
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, Brazilian President
President Lula was under pressure to vote
Brazil's ruling Workers' Party has held an election to find a new leader.

Former Minister Ricardo Berzoini faced Raul Pont - a former mayor of Porto Alegre - in a run-off vote on Sunday.

Mr Berzoini led last month's round of voting, but did not get enough votes for an outright victory. Results are not expected for a few days.

Former party leader Jose Genoino was forced to step down amid allegations of illegal campaign financing and corruption.

Correspondents say the party's reputation for integrity was hit by the scandal that also forced the resignation of three other senior officials.

Ideological lines

Latin America's largest left-wing party is struggling to regroup from the corruption scandal that has damaged Lula's popularity ahead of next year's presidential race.

Correspondents say the Workers' Party is deeply divided along ideological lines, and the election of a new leader could shape Lula's chances for re-election.

Mr Berzoini supports the government, and was expected to maintain the same moderate stance as former leader Jose Genoino.

But Mr Pont is a member of the party's left-wing faction, which has been constantly criticising Lula's administration - especially its economic policies.

Apparently worried that the scandal would jeopardise his chances for a second term, Lula at first sought to distance himself from the Workers' Party election.

He did not vote in the first round, causing an uproar among the party members. He did cast his ballot in the run-off vote on Sunday.


SEE ALSO:
Lula's party to hold run-off vote
28 Sep 05 |  Americas
Lula's party elects new leaders
19 Sep 05 |  Americas
Brazil politician faces expulsion
14 Sep 05 |  Americas
Embattled Lula vows more reforms
08 Sep 05 |  Americas
Brazil MPs face corruption claims
02 Sep 05 |  Americas
Q&A: Brazil corruption claims
12 Jul 05 |  Americas


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