March 23, 2018 / 8:45 PM / 8 months ago

Brazilian President Temer edges closer to declaring for this year's race

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Michel Temer gestures during a ceremony to announce the resumption of works of urban mobility in the city of Goiania, at the Planalto Palace in Brasilia, Brazil March 15, 2018. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino/File photo

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazilian President Michel Temer edged closer toward declaring his candidacy to run in October’s presidential election, telling a magazine that to not vie for the top office would be “a cowardice.”

Temer took office in mid-2016 after then President Dilma Rousseff, for whom he served as vice president, was impeached. He is currently under investigation on corruption allegations. Last year he was faced three charges from Brazil’s top federal prosecutor, but a friendly Congress blocked him from having to stand trial.

The Temer government’s approval rating is 6 percent and in the most recent Datafolha poll, 1 percent of those surveyed said they would vote for him in this year’s election.

In an interview with Istoe magazine, posted on the publication’s website on Friday, Temer said he was confident voters would warm to him if he were to make his case on the campaign trail.

“I’ve fixed a country that was broken. I’m proud of what I did and I need to show what is being done,” he said. “It would be a cowardice not to be a candidate.”

The presidential office in Brasilia confirmed to Reuters the accuracy of the Istoe interview.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu Brasilia; Additional reporting by Brad Brooks in Sao Paulo; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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