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Finance Minister Says Government Will Present a Candidate for 2018 Presidential Election

12/04/2017 - 10h18

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MARINA DIAS
JULIO WISIACK
FROM BRASÍLIA

In an interview with Folha, Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said that the federal government will have its own candidate for the 2018 presidential election, and that it won't be São Paulo's governor Geraldo Alckmin.

In his first assertive analysis regarding the elections, Mr. Meirelles said that the reason the current administration will not back Alckmin is the fact that his party, PSDB (Brazilian Social Democracy Party), has not signalled a "clear commitment" to the implementation of political reforms.

In the event that he decides to put his own name forward, the cabinet member of the Temer administration said he would defend "the administration's legacy".

Mr. Meirelles believes that his performance in the latest Datafolha survey, which has him polling at 2%, is due to the fact that he is not currently campaigning.

Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters
Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles
Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles

According to the minister, as soon as the the desired effect of unpopular measures, such as the spending cap and the labour reform, start becoming apparent to the population, then a "credible candidate" will have the opportunity to demonstrate that economic growth and rising incomes are the result of such measures.

Mr. Meirelles believes that there is a "ceiling" when it comes to the enthusiasm surrounding the polarization between former president Lula (PT) and congressman Jair Bolsonaro (PSC). "The vast majority is still waiting for a candidate who does not hold extremist views to turn up".

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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