The president of Brazil, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, said he would be choosing his successor in 2010 and anticipated there are great chances that the next president could be a woman, although he did not advance names.
"Very humbly I'm telling you that I will be choosing my successor. I can't tell who it will be but I can assure you there are great chances that it could be a woman," said Lula in an interview with Buenos Aires daily Clarin.
However in political circles the name which crops as the most probable candidate to succeed Lula is his cabinet chief. Dilma Rousseff, who also happens to be an expert in energy matters.
Rousseff has been a militant of the ruling Workers Party since its foundation in 1980 and has been next to the Brazilian president from the beginning of his first term. She is also considered one of the most prestigious ministers and closest advisors of the former metal workers union leader.
Lula said he was confident that the Workers Party would again win the next presidential elections given the economic and social improvements achieved during his eight-year tenure which ends in 2010.
"We have all chances to repeat and win the elections. We'll have a strong and growing economy, per capita income expanding, workers conditions improving and the poor will be less poor. That is a winning formula," underlined the Brazilian leader.
"We'll reach 2010, when the next presidential elections, with a very comfortable situation," said Lula who included among the long list of improvements Brazilians will enjoy the infrastructure works for the organization of the World Cup in 2014 which will be hosted by Brazil.
Meantime the Brazilian press celebrated the victory over Chile of the national team, which played "offensively as had demanded President Lula" during a public controversy with the players and coach Dunga who returned from Beijing with the bronze medal. Gold went to archrival Argentina.
"Victory guarantees Dunga's job"; "Brazil defeats Chile and brings relief to Dunga"; "Brazil plays offensively and is second in qualifiers", were some of the Monday headlines in Brazil following the three goals victory over Chile in Santiago.
"Brazil played as Lula likes: offensively and with grit and is now second ahead of Argentina," was one of the sport publications comments on the Sunday night match. To make victory even sweeter Chile is currently coached by Marcelo Bielsa, who previously had the same job with Argentina's national squad.
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