President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva suffered defeats in an electoral test of his ruling party's influence, but analysts predicted Brazil's first elected leftist leader would not suffer long-term political damage.
Jose Serra, the former health minister who lost the presidential race to Lula two years ago, coasted to victory Sunday in the runoff mayoral race for Sao Paulo, one of Latin America's largest cities and a traditional stronghold of Lula's Workers' Party.
With 99 percent of the vote counted, Serra, of the Social Democratic Party, won 55 percent of the vote, while Workers' Party Mayor Marta Suplicy won 45 percent.
Lula's party had been hoping to broaden its base across Brazil in dozens of other large cities holding runoff mayoral elections, making it easier for him to push through his legislative agenda and prepare his own reelection campaign for a second four-year term in 2006.
The Workers' Party won in 11 of the 23 cities where it fielded candidates, but it lost the Amazon city of Belem and the southern state capitals of Curitiba and Porto Alegre.
Analysts said the vote did not indicate a rejection of Lula because the Workers' Party had a largely successful Oct. 3 first round, nearly doubling its total of mayoral seats to 389 municipalities.
The president may face turmoil trying to patch back together his delicate coalition in Congress, said Alexandre Barros, a political analyst with the Early Warning consulting firm.
"They are going to have to compute how much this impacts on government policy and Congress," Barros said.
Francisco Fonseca, a political scientist at Sao Paulo's Catholic University, also doubted the losses in Sao Paulo and other Workers' Party strongholds would overshadow the party's first round gains.
Sao Paulo, a city of 10 million residents and an additional 8 million on its margins, is Brazil's financial and industrial heart and a bastion of Workers' Party support. Despite the loss, analysts said Lula could easily win the city in a 2006 reelection bid if the Brazilian economy continues to grow.