BRASILIA – Brazilian Foreign Minister Jose Serra resigned on Wednesday for health reasons, according to a letter he sent to President Michel Temer.
Serra, 74, who in December underwent spinal surgery, said that his health problems “prevent me from maintaining the pace of international trips that go with the duties of foreign minister.”
“According to the doctors, the time for adequate recovery is at least four weeks,” said Serra in the missive, emphasizing that he will continue to hold his senatorial seat since he intends to work “for the approval of bills (to help) the recovery of the economy, social development and Brazil’s democratic consolidation.”
Serra took over as foreign minister for the Temer government on May 12, 2016, after former President Dilma Rousseff was barred from carrying out her presidential duties, being deposed in August over irregularities in the public accounts.
Serra’s departure poses yet another obstacle for Temer, who for the past several weeks has been seeking a new attorney general to replace Alexandre de Moraes, who was named a Supreme Court justice.
Serra ran as the presidential candidate for the Brazilian Social Democratic Party (PSDB) in 2002 and 2010, and there had been speculation that he might run again in 2018, although his health problems now would appear to make such a move out of the question.