Privatization Advocate Quits Brazil’s Presidential Race

(Bloomberg) -- The Brazilian presidential candidate with the most enthusiasm for privatizing state assets quit the race, saying he had fulfilled his duty as a citizen.

Flavio Rocha, the former chief executive officer of retail giant Riachuelo and candidate for the Brazilian Republican Party, had about one percent of vote intentions.

“I am convinced that I helped inspire” entrepreneurs or those who want to become entrepreneurs, he said in a video announcing his withdrawal on Friday. “We can and we must be protagonists in this political struggle.”

Brazil’s presidential race remains wide open, with former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva leading opinion polls despite the fact he will likely be barred from running due to his corruption conviction. Ex-Army Captain Jair Bolsonaro and former Environment Minister Marina Silva follow in second and third place, respectively.

In an interview with Bloomberg in March, Rocha proposed a radical overhaul of the government, selling all state-owned companies in an attempt to unleash Brazil’s entrepreneurial spirit and slash inefficiencies.

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