- The Washington Times - Monday, September 27, 2004

Workers Party officials are flying to Brazilian cities where their candidates are up for re-election on Sunday.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who heads the party, is most concerned about the election in Sao Paulo, a megalopolis of 33 million people where his former presidential rival, Jose Serra of the Social Democrats, is expected to beat incumbent Mayor Marta Suplicy.

Mr. Serra has promised that, if elected Sao Paulo’s mayor, he will not run for president in 2006, although few believe him. He lost against Mr. Lula da Silva by wide margins in 2002.

Pro-Lula da Silva candidates are expected to win in 51 races, compared with 39 races expected for the opposition.

“A Serra win is not a big problem for Lula,” said Ricardo Guedes, director at the Census Institute, a polling firm, using the president’s nickname. “It’ll have almost no effect on national policy or the economy — a lot of rhetoric, but nothing serious.”

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