(AFP) - Leftist president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva won re-election by a landslide, and vowed to fight for more social justice while at the same time spurring economic growth.
"The neediest people will get even more attention from the government because we want a more equitable Brazil," he said after garnering more than 60 percent of the vote and a 20-point lead over former Sao Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin.
He said that while remaining committed to a more just distribution of wealth, he would maintain tough fiscal policies, and expressed confidence economic growth, which was at a disappointing 2.3 percent last year, would take off, reports Trend.
Clad in a T-shirt that proclaimed "Victory is Brazil's," Lula, who has survived a series of scandals that tarnished his first term, also vowed to step up the battle against corruption.
Hundreds of people took to the streets of Sao Paulo, to cheer Lula, 61, a onetime shoeshine boy, a former metal worker and a self-styled defender of the downtrodden.
His popularity is attributed in part to the government's flagship social program that hands out cash assistance to more than 11 million needy families.
"The people feel things have improved, and that has no rival," Lula said at a news conference in Sao Paulo. "And they realize we have just made the first step," he said.
"We will make our second mandate better than the first," he said.
A leftist who has toned down his once-fiery rhetoric and maintained orthodox economic policies, Lula was buoyed by a healthy, if slow-growing, economy, with inflation down, trade at a record high and a large chunk of public debt paid off ahead of time.
Alckmin, 53, a trained anesthesiologist backed by the business community, had not called for any major policy changes, focusing instead on a series of scandals that led to the resignation of several of Lula's ministers and top PT officials.
Claims of campaign wrongdoing cost Lula the chance of winning re-election in the October 1 first round election, when he fell 1.4 points short of the simple majority needed to avert a runoff against Alckmin.
Lula has denied any prior knowledge of the alleged campaign dirty tricks and turned up the heat ahead of Sunday's runoff, playing on popular concerns his rival would privatize the giant Petrobras energy company and other state assets.
Voters also elected governors in 10 of Brazil's 27 states, where gubernatorial elections were not decided in the October 1 voting.
The next government will be hampered by a fractured parliament. The PT will have 83 deputies in the 513-seat lower House and 11 mandates in the 81-strong senate. Alckmin's Party of the Brazilian Social Democracy (PSDB) will have 66 deputies and 14 senators, with the remaining seats going to other parties.