Dilma Rousseff, a former leftist guerrilla turned civil servant, was yesterday elected Brazil's first female head of state. She was declared the winner in a statement by the Supreme Electoral Court which said that, with 99 per cent of the votes counted, she had 55.6 per cent of the ballot. Jose Serra, her centrist rival, had 44.4 per cent.
As her triumph was confirmed, the new president-elect said: "I'm very happy. I want to thank all Brazilians for this moment and I promise to honour the trust they have shown me.", Independent reports.
An estimated 135 million Brazilians went to the polls yesterday to choose between the 62-year-old economist, who was the handpicked successor of Brazil's Workers' Party (PT) president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, and José Serra, a 68-year-old former health minister who was running for president for the second, and almost certainly last, time.
Speaking at a victory rally in the capital, Brasilia, Rousseff told jubilant supporters: "We cannot rest while Brazilians are going hungry, while families are living in the streets, while poor children are abandoned to their own fates and while crack and crack dens rule.", The Guardian informs.