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Top opposition hopeful launches Brazil presidential run

The top contender to unseat Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in October launched his campaign, looking for a return to power for his Social Democratic party.

SAO PAULO: The top contender to unseat Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff in October launched his campaign on Saturday, looking to convert widespread discontent into a return to power for his Social Democratic party.

Calling for "change in Brazil," Aecio Neves officially opened his presidential run on the third day of the World Cup, which has gone from being a symbol of Brazil's rise to a target for critics angry over corruption, shoddy public services and a stagnating economy.

"We are here to say a definitive 'enough' to the people who have appropriated our government," Neves, 54, told members of his PSDB party at a convention in Sao Paulo.

The senator and former governor pledged to create economic growth, reverse rising inflation and improve public services if elected - echoing the demands of Rousseff's critics.

He entered the convention alongside former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who led Brazil from 1995 to 2003, when Rousseff's leftwing Workers' Party came to power.

Rousseff, 66, currently leads in opinion polls but has struggled to keep alive the boom-time glow left by her popular predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

She had 38 per cent support in polling firm Ibope's most recent survey, down two per centage points from May.

Neves had 22 per cent, up two points, and Socialist Eduardo Campos 13 per cent, also up two.

The October 5 election will go to a runoff on October 26 if no candidate wins more than 50 per cent in the first round.

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