Brazilian leader hints at fresh run for office

Brazil's outgoing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said he might run for president again, a revelation that could weaken successor Dilma Rousseff two weeks before she takes power.

Mr Lula, who will leave office on 1 January with a popularity rating above 80 per cent thanks to Brazil's economic boom, was forbidden by the constitution from running for a third consecutive presidential term this year.

Asked if he might run again in the future, Mr Lula replied: "I can't say no. I'm honorary president of a party, I'm a born politician.

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"We're going to work for (Rousseff] to have a good government, and when the moment arrives, we'll see what happens."

It was the 65-year-old's most explicit statement to date that he could be a candidate again.

Mr Lula qualified his statements, saying he was "afraid" they would be interpreted as a sign he would run again.

At the very least, Ms Rousseff will have to cope with the renewed perception that she is merely a placeholder for four years until Mr Lula returns.