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Financial News: BRAZIL: Meirelles' Decision On Running For President Depen

BRAZIL: Meirelles' Decision On Running For President Depends On Economy

12/04/2017 - 21:55:00 (RTTNews)

(RTTNews) - The economic improvement should allow the Michel Temer administration to launch a competitive presidential candidate in 2018, said the Brazilian Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles in an interview with "Folha de S.Paulo" newspaper.

According to him, the economic improvement and political articulation should be decisive for him to run for president.

"First, the consolidation and the perception by the population of the economic growth and, more importantly, the benefits that this will bring," Meirelles said of the main factors supporting his potential candidacy. "Second, the political articulation."

Meirelles said he would decide on running for president only in March 2018 and noted that "the majority of the electorate still awaits a candidate who does not have extreme positions and who will reflect this position of commitment to the growth of the country."

His comments were about the expected dispute between the former center-left President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and the far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro.

Asked about the Datafolha poll, in which he appears with 1% or 2% of the voting intentions, Meirelles said mentions to his name reflect the fact that he has not yet officially applied for the presidency.

When asked about defending a government with a 5% approval rate and an unpopular agenda, the finance minister said that "the country is used to years of populist measures. Moves such as a spending ceiling and a labor reform have at first a low approval reaction because they are not populist. When the result becomes clear, there will be an opportunity for a candidate to show that growth and income should come out from reforms."

Asked whether his past work as a consultant with the J&F group, involved in a full-scale corruption scheme in Brazil, may disrupt his candidacy, Meirelles responded positively but considered that there are other points that can be used against other candidates.

"I have a career in the private sector that is diversified. There is no special relationship with a certain group. My name was never mentioned, except when there was a complaint (from Joesley Batista to Michel Temer) that I was hard, I did not accept anything," he concluded.

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