Brazil's President Could Drop Re-Election Bid in Favor of Unity

(Bloomberg) -- President Michel Temer of Brazil said he could drop his re-election bid to support a candidate who would unify centrist parties and defend his legacy.

Temer told local CBN radio that he held a “long meeting” with former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso to discuss the union of centrist forces ahead of the October elections. Having a single candidate to run against left- and right-wing names would make it easier for voters to chose, he said.

“I could give up on my candidacy if a better name is found,” he said.

Five months before the vote, centrist parties are struggling to find a candidate with a good chance of winning one of the most polarized elections in Brazil’s history. Their best hope currently seems to be former Sao Paulo Governor Geraldo Alckmin from Cardoso’s party, who trails the frontrunners and has no more than 7 percent of the votes in different scenarios considered by pollster Datafolha last month.

Temer, who took over the presidency after the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff two years ago, is himself extremely unpopular, with a personal approval rating in the single digits.

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