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    A lot of disgruntled Brazilians went to the polls yesterday (15 November). Early returns from?

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    A lot of disgruntled Brazilians went to the polls yesterday (15 November). Early returns from the Congressional and State elections indicated that the only opposition party allowed by Brazil's authoritarian military regime was leading by unexpectedly large margins in some areas.

    The steep voting was to renew a third of the Senate, the Federal Chamber and the 22 State Assemblies. Final results are not expected until Wednesday. But early returns showed that the opposition Brazilian Democratic Movement, which had been widely expected to make some gains, was ding much better than expected.

    SYNOPSIS: Brazilians went to the polls on Friday, and a lot of them turned out to be thoroughly disgruntled with the present government. At stake were a third of the seats in the country's Senate, its Federal Chamber and the State Assemblies. And early returns suggested a big swing in support for the only opposition party permitted by Brazil's authoritarian military regime, the Brazilian Democratic Movement.

    The voters' discontent has been chiefly attributed to the country's economic situation. The rise in the cost of living -- inflation is currently running at thirty-three per cent -- has cut deeply into the purchasing power of all classes, especially the lower paid workers.

    Queues were reported at polling stations throughout the country. Electors had been spurred to vote by an election campaign notable for more freedom than any since the military assumed power ten years ago. Thirty-six million Brazilians over the age of eighteen are legally obliged to vote.

    Early returns showed that the Democratic Movement was leading the ruling National Renewal Alliance by large percentages in eleven of the twenty-two states. But though the opposition will almost certainly increase its representation in the two-chamber Congress, the real power in Brazil will still remain with the military regime's strong executive.

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