Brazil Worker's Party chooses Rousseff for re-election

President Dilma Rousseff faces a tough re-election campaign after being chosen as the left-wing Worker's Party's candidate for the October presidential election. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS
President Dilma Rousseff faces a tough re-election campaign after being chosen as the left-wing Worker's Party's candidate for the October presidential election. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SAO PAULO (AFP) - President Dilma Rousseff faces a tough re-election campaign after being chosen as the left-wing Worker's Party's candidate for the October presidential election.

Ms Rousseff's re-election bid was formalised at a raucous party event late Friday and fully endorsed by party stalwart and popular ex-president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva (2003-2011).

Ms Rousseff, 66, has seen her popularity battered by a sluggish economy, a litany of political scandals, inflation, and anger at massive government spending to host the World Cup at mid-year and the 2016 Summer Olympics.

A survey by pollsters CNT this week shows that 37 per cent of voters would vote for her in October, outperforming her rivals but down from 44 per cent in February.

Without winning 50 per cent of the vote Ms Rousseff would face a run-off vote with her nearest rival.

Her main rivals are social democrat Aecio Neves, who has 22 per cent support, and socialist Eduardo Campos, with 12 per cent support.

An economist and former guerrilla fighter who was jailed and tortured in the 1970s, Ms Rousseff took office in January 2011 as Brazil's first female president.

Mr Lula, who remains a heavyweight in Brazilian politics, left office with an 80 per cent approval rating.