Added by James Morley on November 1, 2010
Dilma Rousseff, a 62-year-old former guerrilla leader, was on Sunday announced the winner of Brazil’s presidential election, making her the first woman in Brazil to hold the position.
Rousseff, who in her first presidential pledge reiterated her promise of addressing the poverty suffered by some 20 million people in her country, beat rival Jose Serra by securing 55.5 per cent of an approximate 135 million votes, compared to Serra’s 44.5 per cent.
“We must not rest while there are Brazilians going hungry.” she said in her Brasilia victory speech.
Rousseff, who holds the support of outgoing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, will be sworn in as Brazil’s president on January 1, 2011.
She has previously held various mid-level government posts after which she became Silva’s energy minister, chief of staff and eventually his chosen successor.
Her political career started during the 1960s when she fought against Brazil’s ruling military dictatorship.
With Brazil’s constitution preventing Silva to run for a third four-year term Rousseff is brought into power at a time when Brazil is anticipated to become the world’s 5th largest economy by 2016, when the country is hosting the Summer Olympics.
Brazil is also hosting the 2014 World Cup.
Fernando Pimentel, one of Rousseff’s campaign advisers said in a recent interview: “Her government will focus primarily on solving Brazil’s bottlenecks,”.