November 17, 2017 / 6:29 PM / a year ago

Brazil speaker says pension overhaul in danger if left until 2018

Brazilian Lower House's President Rodrigo Maia looks on during a meeting with judge Alexandre de Moraes (not pictured), in Brasilia, Brazil October 17, 2017. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - The Brazilian government’s plan to overhaul the costly pension system will be in trouble if it does not clear the lower house of Congress this year, and it still lacks the votes needed for approval, the Speaker Rodrigo Maia said on Friday.

Maia told Reuters that cabinet changes by President Michel Temer benefiting coalition allies should make it clear by next week whether the government can muster the two-thirds super majority of votes needed to pass pension reform in the house. “They don’t have the votes yet ... if the bill is left for next year it will be hard to pass,” he said in an interview.

Reporting by Maria Carolina Marcello and Anthony Boadle; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe

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