Workers' Party presidential candidate Fernando Haddad holds a Brazilian flag after casting his vote in the presidential election in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, Oct. 28, 2018. Brazilian voters decide Sunday who will next lead the world's fifth-largest country, the left-leaning Haddad or far-right rival Jair Bolsonaro. (AP Photo/Nelson Antoine)

The Latest: Many cheer far-rightist's lead in Brazil vote

October 28, 2018 - 5:37 pm

SAO PAULO (AP) — The latest on Brazil's presidential runoff (all times local):

7:35 p.m.

Many Brazilians are celebrating the news that far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro holds a big lead in vote-counting for Brazil's presidency with the majority of ballots tallied.

People set off fireworks on Rio de Janeiro's Copacabana beach, and car drivers honked their horns across the city Sunday. In Sao Paulo, crowds gathered on a central avenue with banners and flags and people cheered and set off firecrackers in other neighborhoods as results came in.

Riot police separated supporters of Bolsonaro and those of his leftist rival Fernando Haddad when they briefly scuffled in Sao Paulo.

The Supreme Electoral Tribunal says that with more than 94 percent of ballots counted, Bolsonaro leads with 55.5 percent of the vote to Haddad's 44.5 percent.

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7:15 p.m.

Far-right congressman Jair Bolsonaro has taken a big lead in vote counting for Brazil's presidency with a majority of ballots tallied.

Voters in Sunday's runoff election apparently discounted warnings that the brash former army captain would erode democracy and instead embraced a chance for radical change after years of turmoil.

Brazil's Supreme Electoral Tribunal says that with more than 88 percent of the votes counted, 55.7 percent supported Bolsonaro, while 44.3 percent backed leftist Fernando Haddad of the Workers' Party.

Final results are expected later Sunday.

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5 p.m.

Voting stations throughout most of Brazil are closing as the country's presidential election nears an end.

Polls closed at 5:00 p.m. local time in all but one far-western state, though those in line are still able to cast ballots.

Because of time zone differences, polling stations close two hours later in Acre state, which is on the border with Peru and Bolivia.

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4:30 p.m.

Brazil's outgoing President Michel Temer said his government is ready to begin the handover to the new government being chosen in Sunday's election.

Temer voted in Sao Paulo and told reporters the transition will start "tomorrow or the day after tomorrow."

He said the transition would be "calm and quiet" and that the team of the elected president will receive "almost all the information regarding what was been done and what still needs to be done"

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3:00 p.m.

The bitterness of Brazil's presidential election campaign so far doesn't seem to have spilled over into the voting itself.

The head of the Organization of American States' election observation mission says voting has been taking place in a climate of "tranquility and normality."

Former Costa Rican President Laura Chinchilla says members of the mission are seeing "with no reports of violence or any other difficulty."

The president of the Superior Electoral Court also says Sunday's election has taking place peacefully throughout the country.

Rosa Weber says the "tranquility gives me a sensation of happiness. It is a celebration of democracy."

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12:45 p.m.

The two candidates to become Brazil's next president have cast their ballots along with millions of other Brazilians.

Far-right former Army captain Jair Bolsonaro voted in a military compound in Rio de Janeiro surrounded by security and supporters who shouted his name. He did not speak to the press.

Fernando Haddad of the leftist Workers' Party voted in Sao Paulo and said he was "confident we can win."

Bolsonaro has had a strong lead in polls, but Haddad got a string of last-minute endorsements ahead of Sunday's vote.

They included popular former supreme court justice Joaquim Barbosa, who tweeted that Bolsonaro's candidacy scared him.

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10:20 a.m.

Voting for the presidency is in full swing in Latin America's largest nation.

Voters are picking between far-right Congressman Jair Bolsonaro and former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad.

Polls ahead of Sunday's vote showed Bolsonaro with a 10 percent advantage. Still, the race appeared to be tightening, as just weeks before Bolsonaro had an 18-point lead.

Bolsonaro cast his vote in Rio de Janeiro, which he represents in Congress. Haddad was expected to vote later Sunday in Sao Paulo.

During the first round of voting on Oct. 7, Bolsonaro garnered 46 percent compared to 29 percent for Haddad.

Bolsonaro has promised to crack down on crime and overhaul the economy. Haddad has promised a continuation of many progressive policies of his Workers' Party, which governed from 2003 to 2016.

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