Brazil’s presidential vote will go to second round with more options after results of first round showed low turnout and some candidates were eliminated from the contest.
A total of 1,056,961 Brazilians voted in the first round of the presidential election, meaning some 70 percent of eligible voters participated in this year’s vote – down from 73 percent in the 1989 vote. The turnout was less than 50 percent of 1.12 million voters in the first round of the 1989 vote.
Of the 18 candidates running, 12 were eliminated after the first round, with the others entering the second round. These include former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who has already been elected president with 67 percent of the vote in 2004. His rival who lost to Lula da Silva in the first round in 2009 was Dilma Rouseff, who had previously led the opposition.
Candidates will now face each other to see which will face the minimum of 50 percent of the vote to secure their presidential candidacy. These candidates will then enter the second round of the ballot.
The first round is scheduled for May 3rd, but if the low turnout continues Brazil would have to wait until at least September to determine the winner.
There was a total of 20,946,639 registered voters in the first round. This is a drop of nearly 14 percent from the first round of the 2009 presidential election. It has been said the reason for the lower turnout was due to a change in the electoral law.
The candidates will now begin the process of selecting their running mate in the second round.
Presidential candidate Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is standing in his seat and will be attending the inauguration of his presidential successor at the beginning of May.