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Brazil poll rivals close campaigns for hard-fought vote

Brazilian presidential candidates Dilma Rousseff (R) and Aecio Neves wait for the start of a televised debate in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on October 24, 2014Brazil’s leftist President Dilma Rousseff and center-right challenger Aecio Neves wrapped up their campaigns Saturday in the hardest-fought election in the country’s recent history. Rousseff, 66, a former guerrilla who was jailed and tortured for fighting Brazil’s 1964-1985 dictatorship, spent Saturday morning in her southern stronghold of Porto Alegre, where she was holding a march. Neves, the business-world favorite, was meanwhile in his native state of Minas Gerais in the southeast to pay a visit to the grave of his grandfather Tancredo, a leading figure in the democratic transition who was elected president in 1985 but died before taking office. Rousseff, who was elected Brazil’s first woman president in 2010, taking the reins from her popular Workers’ Party (PT) mentor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, has had to fight tooth and nail to re-emerge as the front-runner.

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