March 13, 2018 / 12:17 PM / 7 days ago

Brazil's Meirelles says time looks ripe for a presidential bid

SAO PAULO (Reuters) - Brazil’s Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said on Tuesday that he is studying a bid for president in October and his research is showing that it is a propitious moment for him to run.

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles listens to Rio de Janeiro's Mayor Marcelo Crivella (not pictured) during a meeting in Brasilia, Brazil February 21, 2018. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

“I am doing a whole series of assessments to see if it is the right moment for me to be a candidate, and much of the data indicates that it is,” he said in a radio interview.

Meirelles said his research is sounding out what Brazilians are looking for in the next president they will elect in the Oct. 7 general election.

He has to decide by April 7 whether to resign as minister to run for president. That is also the deadline for joining the ruling Brazilian Democratic Movement (MDB) party, which could nominate him instead of President Michel Temer.

Both Temer and Meirelles received about 1 percent of voter intentions in a recent Datafolha poll. But the MDB is set on having its own presidential candidate and Meirelles is gaining strength as the better option, party officials say.

Asked whether being part of Temer’s unpopular government would hurt his chances, Meirelles said Brazilians were beginning to give it credit for recovering the economy for deep recession.

“The great majority of voters are looking for a candidate who will continue the reforms and modernization of the economy, who is focused on recovering jobs, income, quality in education, better labor relations and public security,” he said.

Meirelles has given a flurry of radio and television interviews this year as he considered running for president.

Reporting by Camila Moreira; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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