Backgrounder: Facts to know about Brazilian general elections

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) — Brazil is gearing up for one of its most closely watched general elections in years.

The following are a few facts to know about them.

Voters are expected to head to the polls on Sunday to choose a new president, 27 state governors, 54 senators, 513 federal representatives and 1,059 state representatives. Voters abroad can only cast their ballots for president.

The most closely watched of the elections is the presidential race, with 13 candidates competing. If none of them secures 50 percent support as needed to claim an outright win, a second round of voting will be held on Oct. 28.

This year’s presidential race has generated more anticipation than usual, being the first since former President Dilma Rousseff of the left-leaning Workers’ Party (PT) was impeached in 2016.

Far-right Jair Bolsonaro is currently leading the race, according to recent polls. Following him is the Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad, who has the backing of his party and popular former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was disqualified from running due to a corruption conviction.

Another candidate, Ciro Gomes of the Democratic Labor Party (PDT), has presented himself as an alternative to those who want to vote for neither Bolsonaro nor Haddad. As a former cabinet minister, he is known for his controversial comments.

A total of 147,306,275 citizens are expected to vote in 5,570 towns in electronic balloting all over the country and abroad.

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