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Brazil finance minister mulls quitting post in bid for presidency

Brazil's Finance Minister Henrique Meirelles said March 26 that he will decide in the first week of April whether to resign from his post to run for the presidency, Reuters reported.

If President Michel Temer decides to seek a second term, Meirelles would compete with Temer for the nomination of the Brazilian Democratic Movement party. Temer said talks with Meirelles over the weekend had reached no conclusion.

Under Brazil's election laws, Meirelles has to resign from the ministry by April 7 if he wants to be a candidate. A presidential aide said Meirelles, during his talks with Temer, had proposed potential ministry replacements.

Meirelles insisted that he is aiming for the top job. "I am looking at the presidency, evidently. But we have to see what people want and consider electoral factors to avoid a negative result for the country," he said in the Reuters report.

Temer's minister of political affairs, Carlos Marun, told Reuters that if President Temer does not want to run or cannot run, it would be Meirelles. Marun, however, later said Meirelles' entry to the MDB party had not been decided yet.

Pollster Ibope reported last December that only 6% of Brazilians think Temer is doing well as president while 74% of the population perceive him as "bad or terrible," according to Reuters.

Party members are not optimistic about Temer's chances. Meirelles has a lower disapproval rating than Temer, according to the report.