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Brazil’s Congress re-elects Senate, lower house leaders

Brasilia, Feb 2 (IANS) Brazilian Senate President Rodrigo Pacheco and lower house speaker Arthur Lira were both re-elected with a majority of votes in the National Congress elections.

Lira, 53, won in the biggest landslide in the country’s history of lower house elections by obtaining 464 ballots from 509 deputies who participated in the voting on Wednesday, reports Xinhua news agency.

The speaker from the centrist Progressive Party gained support from 20 political parties.

The 46-year-old Pacheco from the Social Democratic Party held onto his Senate leadership job despite the challenge by his main rival, Rogerio Marinho, from former President Jair Bolsonaro’s camp.

He received 49 votes in the 81-member upper house, lower than the 57 ballots he gained in the 2021 election.

During their speeches following the victory, both Pacheco and Lira condemned Bolsonaro supporters’ intrusion into state power institutions in Brasilia on January 8.

Pacheco said “toxic polarization” needs to be eradicated in Brazil, while Lira said the South American country “has no more room for those who attack state power institutions”.

Pacheco and Lira were elected for a two-year term.