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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 October 2006, 05:23 GMT
Brazil's Lula sets out priorities
By Steve Kingstone
BBC News, Sao Paulo

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva waves to supporters in Brazilia on 30 October 2006
President Lula won a landslide victory on Sunday
Brazil's newly re-elected President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has set out priorities for his second term.

In television interviews, he said the emphasis would be economic development, the redistribution of wealth from rich to poor, and education.

Lula, as the left-leaning President is known, won more than 60% of the vote in Sunday's poll, beating his rival Geraldo Alckmin.

He interprets that as a mandate to continue prioritising the poor.

Speaking on Brazilian television, the president said a layer of Brazilian society had for centuries been marginalised and if those people could be levered up into the middle class everyone would benefit.

In the coming days Lula's challenge is to assemble a solid coalition in Brazil's parliament, and some commentators are pessimistic about prospects for significant legislation.

"I believe that Lula will have a very difficult time in Brazil for the next four years," said Claudio Cuto, a politics professor at the Catholic Pontificate University of Sao Paulo.

"Governments in Brazil need to change the constitution if they want to govern," he said, adding that the government and the opposition were sharply polarised.

"If you want, for example, to change the tax structures in Brazil you have to amend a constitution and so you need super majorities to do it."

A majority consisting of 60% of the votes is needed in both the Senate and the lower house of the congress to amend the constitution.

Such is the challenge in securing that level of support that many here believe change to the political system itself should be the top priority.


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