Lawmakers rejected an attempt to call an early presidential election and allowed President Jose Sarney to complete a five-year term ending in 1990 even though polls indicated that voters want elections now.

The Congress, sitting as a Constituent Assembly to rewrite the Constitution, on Thursday voted 328 in favor of a five-year term and 222 in favor of four years.

Leftist lawmakers wanted the election in November this year, but the assembly decided the country's estimated 75 million eligible voters will go to the polls in November 1989. Brazilians have not voted for a president since 1960.