Brazil Re-Elects Rousseff After Bitter Campaign

Brazil's current president Dilma Rousseff narrowly won another four year term in Sunday's elections. She faces a divided country and economic woes.

Brazil Re-Elects Rousseff After Bitter Campaign
Getty Images / Mario Tama

Brazil's runoff presidential elections went down to the wire Sunday, but incumbent candidate Dilma Rousseff emerged victorious with 51 percent of the vote, securing herself another four-year term in office.

It's an impressive feat for Rousseff, and for her leftist Worker's Party, which has now won an unprecedented 16 consecutive years in power. But the narrow margin of victory shows just how hard Rousseff had to work for re-election this time.

The Worker's Party has long held the support of Brazil's working class, but corruption scandals and an economy in dire straits made Rousseff look extremely vulnerable in the early polls. (Video via Univision)

Rousseff's challenger in the runoff vote, centrist candidate Aecio Neves, ran on the country's weak economy, promising a more business-friendly approach to government.

But as The New York Times reports, both campaigns quickly degenerated into "accusations of corruption, personal insults and heated debates" which polarized the country.

With such a narrow margin of victory, Rousseff's camp is working to win back Neves voters in the aftermath of the bitter campaign.

ROUSSEFF VIA AL JAZEERA: "The heat of this dispute should now be transformed into constructive energy for a new time in Brazilian history."

Rousseff's other big challenge will be shaking off the economic malaise that plagued her first term. Wall Street and business media both gave a very dim view of Rousseff's ability to pull the country out of recession.

Rousseff won the initial presidential election held in early October with only 41 percent of the vote, triggering the runoff with Neves, who came in second with 33 percent that time around.

This video includes images from Getty Images.