President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil has narrowly failed to win re-election outright in the first round of the presidential election.
Lula needed at least 50% of the vote to avoid a run-off on 29 October, but fell about 1% short, officials say.
He will now go head to head with former Sao Paulo governor Geraldo Alckmin, who took 41.4% of the vote.
Mr Alckmin gained ground late in the campaign, after President Lula’s party was accused of dirty tricks.
Brazil is now in a position to choose between Lula (who’s been touted as the counter-Hugo – even when I’m asking, and yes, call me paranoid if you want, where did that pile of money come from?) and a pro-business, pro-development politician.
Make no mistake: this election is of pivotal importance for Latin America.