Brazil’s leader Silva hints he may run again
SAO PAULO: Brazil's popular leader hinted Monday he may run for the presidency again - less than two weeks before his hand-chosen successor takes office.
President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said during an interview broadcast by Rede TV that he could not deny he might vie again for the leadership of Latin America's largest nation.
"I cannot say no because I'm still alive," Silva responded when asked if he might run again for the presidency. "I'm an honorary president of a party, I'm a born politician. I built extraordinary political relationships." It is not the first time Silva has suggested he would return to politics at some point after Jan. 1, when he hands over the presidency to his former chief of staff, President-elect Dilma Rousseff. Silva is leaving office with record approval ratings: as high as 87 percent according to one poll.
In June of last year, Silva, 65, said he would run again if Rousseff lost the election to the opposition candidate. She easily won a second-round vote in October. In nearly every speech or public appearance since the election, he has lamented leaving the limelight and spoken of "missing the microphone."
During the Rede TV interview, Silva threw his weight behind Rousseff, a career technocrat who was largely elected on the back of Silva's popularity. While saying that Rousseff could easily be re-elected in four years, he also left the door open for his eventual return. Rousseff survived lymphoma last year and she and her doctors have said she is fully cured. That has not, however, quieted chatter among political watchers that Silva may step in for her in the 2014 elections should her health become an issue. "We're going to work for Dilma to have a good government, and when the moment arrives, we'll see what happens," Silva said. Perhaps sensing that his comments may reverberate too much so soon before Rousseff takes office, Silva prefaced his words on jumping back into politics by saying he was "afraid tomorrow somebody will watch your interview and say that 'Lula said he could be a candidate.'" -Ap