SAO PAULO (AP) — Thousands in Brazil gathered Sunday to say goodbye to a presidential candidate who was killed in a plane crash less than two months before elections.
People lined up for hours to approach the casket of Eduardo Campos at the governor's place in the northeastern city of Recife, his hometown. Some at the Sunday funeral sobbed and held flags of the Brazilian Socialist Party, mourning the loss of the candidate who also served twice as governor of the state of Pernambuco.
Campos and six others were killed Wednesday when their plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in the city of Santos.
Antonio Campos, his brother, said the country needed to be united after his death.
"I would repeat Eduardo's words 'Don't give up on Brazil,' love Brazil, try what's needed to improve the country by voting, participating or do anything you can," he said. "Today we are here to honor a great Brazilian."
President Dilma Rousseff arrived to pay her respect to Campos, 49. Former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also traveled to offer sympathy to the widow and the five children of the man who also served as his science minister. Campos' running mate Marina Silva, who has been chosen to replace him in the campaign, joined the family throughout the vigil.
Campos was a distant third in the polls, behind Rousseff and opposition candidate Aecio Neves, who also traveled to the funeral. But analysts say the popularity of Silva could make her a greater threat to Rousseff's reelection.
Party officials said on Saturday that Silva, 56, had been chosen to run in Campos' place. It plans to officially launch her campaign this week after Campos is buried.