Rousseff Wins Brazil's Presidential Election

"Dilma Rousseff has been elected president of Brazil, succeeding Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, electoral officials have confirmed.

Ms Rousseff, 62, who had never before held elected office, becomes the country's first woman president.

She promised to ""honour the trust"" Brazilians had put in her and work to eliminate poverty.

Ms Rousseff enjoyed the full support of President Lula, who is leaving after two terms with record popularity. Thousands of supporters of the governing Workers Party have taken to the streets across Brazil to celebrate her victory.

The Superior Electoral Court said that with 99% of the votes counted, she had won 56%, against 44% for her rival, Jose Serra of the Social Democratic Party. This second round of voting was forced after Ms Rousseff fell short of the 50% needed in the 3 October first round. She won 47% to Mr Serra's 33%. In her victory speech, she said her first priority would be to lift 20 million Brazilians out of poverty.

""I reiterate my fundamental promise: the eradication of poverty"", she said.

""We must not rest while there are Brazilians going hungry.""Ms Rousseff is expected to continue the left-leaning policies of President Lula, with emphasis on government efficiency, expanding the role of the state in some sectors such as mining, and upgrading the country's decrepit infrastructure.

She will also oversee a huge expansion of Brazil's oil industry, following the discovery of major offshore fields that should make Brazil one of the world's top 10 oil exporters.

She can count on strengthened majorities for the governing coalition in both houses of Congress to help ease the task of pushing her legislative agenda."