Lula Wants a Banker to Join His Choice for President, a Former Guerrilla

Henrique MeirellesLuiz Inácio Lula da Silva, the president of Brazil, is considering supporting a renowned banker such as Central Bank president Henrique Meirelles, to complete his Workers Party ticket for next October’s presidential election which is expected to be headed by cabinet chief Dilma Rousseff, according to press reports in São Paulo.

Daily O Estado de S. Paulo reports that Lula told his closest collaborators he would favor Meirelles with the purpose of sending a “strong message” to calm investors and markets.

The reason for this is that the financial market is rather cautious about Rousseff’s candidacy considered a politician who is a strong supporter of government intervention and who in the past was a member of guerrilla groups fighting the Brazilian military regime in the late sixties early seventies.

Until 2002 Meirelles was a member of the Lower House for the Social Democrat party, PSDB, of former president Henrique Cardoso (now the main opposition force). But in 2009 he joined the Brazilian Democratic Movement Party, PMDB, which is the majority force in both houses of Congress.

Lula supported Meirelles when he became a member of PMDB, the main ally of his Workers Party in the ruling coalition.

However according to O Estado, Lula has yet to decide if he will effectively propose Meirelles since this could cause a rift with PMDB. Allegedly the powerful PMDB is not willing to support Meirelles as vice-presidential candidate since he has only been affiliated for less than a year.

The main leaders from the influential PMDB are more inclined to support Michele Temer, chairman of the party who is also president of the Lower House.

Lula, a veteran of five presidential campaigns is actively working to consolidate a presidential ticket for next October that has the widest multiparty support in favor of Ms Rousseff.

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