'Lula' easily wins Brazilian presidential vote

Brazil's millions of poor turned out Sunday to give leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva a resounding win in his campaign for a second term as president.

Brazil's millions of poor turned out Sunday to give leftist Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva a resounding win in his campaign for a second term as president.

Silva, known as Lula,had more than 60 per cent of the votes with most of the polls closed in the runoff vote. He beat centre-right challenger Geraldo Alckmin, a former state governor.

Silva hadraised spending on social programs without hiking taxes, cementing the support of the poor. A family allowance program that provides payments to11 million poor families, provided the children stay in school and arevaccinated, was very popular.

In the campaign, hesaid he would reduce the gap between rich and poor and focus on education.

Alckmin highlighted election corruption scandals at Silva's Workers Party, but Silva was not implicated personally.

Alckmin did very well in the first roundon Oct. 1, when he forced the runoff election Sunday by taking enough votes to prevent Silva from getting the 50 per cent plus one necessary to win.

Silva voted in an industrial area of Sao Paulo where he had lived when he was a union leader. Alckmin voted ina well-off neighbourhood.

Voters also cast ballots for governor in the 10 states where runoff votes were necessary.

With files from the Associated Press