Support for a presidential run by Brazil Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles is gaining strength within the country’s largest party and he could be nominated over President Michel Temer for the October presidential race, party officials said.
Meirelles has until April 7 to decide whether to join Temer’s Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) party and resign as minister to run for president, a tricky decision because the ruling party could end up picking Temer if his numbers improve.
“Meirelles wants to join our party and we are still studying his request, but we cannot guarantee that he will be the candidate,” a senior MDB official said. “Meirelles is courting the party and the party is courting him,” said an MDB strategist.“The rank and file do not want Temer. His candidacy will not fly.”
Both Temer and Meirelles received about 1% of voter intentions in a recent Datafolha poll. Still, the ruling party is set on having its own presidential candidate, even if a stronger centrist candidate such as Sao Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin of the Brazilian Social Democracy Party defends its platform of market-friendly reforms and fiscal austerity.
With Brazil’s most popular politician, former President Lula da Silva, likely barred from running due to a corruption conviction, the Oct. 7 election is wide open, with many potential candidates still polling in single digits.
Temer’s closest political allies in the Cabinet are the main backers of his nomination, but the growing feeling in the party is that Meirelles would make a better candidate, one of the party sources said.
A rejection rate of more than 70% in polls is Temer’s biggest problem and is seen as insurmountable, the person said.
Shouts of “Out with Temer” were common at Carnival parades last month among Brazilians who believe the former vice president backed the impeachment of leftist Dilma Rousseff in 2016 to take over and shield himself from corruption probes.
Meirelles, 72, a former chairman of BankBoston, has not been snared by the graft scandals consuming Brasilia. The main obstacle to his candidacy is the lack of a party to support him, because his Social Democratic Party (PSD) plans to back Alckmin.
“Meirelles wants to be president. He will leave the PSD for the MDB. He feels it’s now or never. He has the health and the energy”.
The finance minister’s substantial personal fortune from his years in the private sector may help the case for his candidacy, as new limits on corporate funding for political campaigns have sent parties scrambling for cash.
Meirelles has said he will make his decision at the last minute and would not settle for being vice presidential candidate on someone else’s ticket.
Commenting for this story is now closed.
If you have a Facebook account, become a fan and comment on our Facebook Page!
São Paulo offers the blueprint for what Brazil could achieve: REF:Mar 13th, 2018 - 02:02 pm 0
Temer’s closest political allies in the Cabinet are the main backers of his nominationMar 13th, 2018 - 03:24 pm 0
After he swore he wouldn't stand again! He'd be better off standing for Congress if he wants to keep his immunity, which he surely does with all the evidence against him.
And Meirelles wants to change party in order to be President; guess that just proves how little the parties mean in Brazil.
Only when 'push comes to shove', and the parties must define their candidates, we’ll know what's really being discussed behind the scenes. Regardless of rumours about Temer - that the MDB might nominate him instead of Meirelles, provided the latter joins the MDB - even if he runs/is elected to Congress, he'll lose immunity the moment the STF finally announces the result of the ruling on 'immunity' (already decided in favour of ending it, 6 to 3 - last 2 votes can’t change it).Mar 13th, 2018 - 07:12 pm 0
I've said many times before that politicians are just a bunch of opportunists, looking to where they can get the best deal for themselves, so changing parties like they change their underwear is no surprise. It just reinforces the argument that for most (excluding the more radical), their convictions and rhetoric will sway according to the wind of politics.
@DT, you are starting to understand what Brazilian politics is all about.