Brazil Finance Minister Resigns to Assess Presidential Bid

Brazil Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles on Friday said he will step down from his post to assess running for the presidency in October’s elections.

Finance ministry Executive Secretary Eduardo Guardia, 52, will take over, Meirelles said. Prior to becoming executive secretary in 2016, Guardia worked at Brazil’s stock exchange operator. He has also held high-ranking positions in the public sector, including treasury secretary and Sao Paulo state finance secretary.

If he does decide to run for the presidency, Meirelles would join a crowded field of roughly a dozen contenders who have stated their intention to compete for the nation’s top job in October. While the former Wall Street executive and central bank president is betting on Brazil’s economic recovery to help propel his candidacy, he will have to overcome numerous hurdles including the current administration’s rock-bottom popularity levels, as well as his own dismal performance in opinion polls.

“I am going to study the possibility of a presidential candidacy,” Meirelles told reporters in Brasilia. “I don’t intend to be a vice-presidential candidate and there is no chance of being a candidate for senator or governor.”

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