Brazil’s Lula says he might seek office again-report

* Lula leaves door open to presidential run – report

* Surprise statement could overshadow inauguration

SAO PAULO, Dec 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Brazil’s outgoing President
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he might run for president again
some day, Folha de S. Paulo newspaper reported on Monday, a
revelation that could weaken his chosen successor.

Lula, who will leave office on Jan. 1 with a popularity
rating over 80 percent thanks to Brazil’s economic boom, was
forbidden by Brazil’s Constitution from running for a third
consecutive presidential term this year.

Asked in a TV interview if he might run for president again
in the future, Lula replied: “I can’t say no, because I’m still
alive. I’m honorary president of a party, I’m a born
politician, I built extraordinary political relationships.”

The interview by local RedeTV aired in the early morning
hours on Monday, Folha said.

Though Lula, 65, has never ruled out running again, it was
his most explicit statement to date that he could be a
candidate again in 2014 or later.

Lula chose his former chief of staff Dilma Rousseff as his
party’s candidate to succeed him and his support was crucial to
her winning the presidential election in October.

Rousseff, a left-leaning pragmatist in Lula’s mold, is
staffing her government with many of his most prominent former
officials. His surprise admission of possible interest in
running again could make it more difficult for Rousseff to
emerge from his long shadow and establish power of her own.

Rousseff, who had never run for office before, constantly
fought perceptions during the campaign that she was a political
neophyte and a placeholder for Lula. Folha plastered the
interview across its front page on Monday.

Seemingly aware his statements would cause a stir, Lula
told the interviewer: “I’m a little afraid that tomorrow
somebody will see your interview and say that Lula said he
could be a candidate (again).”

Still, he continued to discuss the possibility, concluding:
“We’re going to work for (Rousseff) to have a good government,
and when the moment arrives, we’ll see what happens.”
(Reporting by Brian Winter, Editing by Todd Eastham)

Brazil’s Lula says he might seek office again-report