Exit polls indicated President Jose Sarney's governing party suffered a major setback in nationwide municipal elections, apparently losing to leftists in Brazil's two main cities.
More than 75 million Brazilians waited in long lines under a hot sun Tuesday to choose from among 1.2 million candidates from 29 parties. At stake were mayoralties and city council seats in 4,307 cities and towns.Exit polls showed the governing Brazilian Democratic Movement Party winning mayoralties in just six of Brazil's 24 state capitals. In the last municipal elections in 1985, it won 17.
The balloting was considered a referendum on Sarney's conservative-to-centrist party, which has been blamed for 30 percent monthly inflation and a 40 percent drop in workers' buying power.