SAO PAULO – Popular TV Globo anchorman Luciano Huck said in a story published on Monday by the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper that he would not be a candidate in Brazil’s 2018 presidential election.
“I will keep striving more and more, always faithful to my principles, and especially driven by the great faith I have in this country. Count on me, but not as a presidential candidate,” said Huck, whose possible candidacy had been promoted by liberal groups.
The television personality’s name had appeared in opinion polls ahead of the election, with respondents giving him a high approval rating.
Huck, a businessman, said he would continue “humbly and steadily” trying to make a contribution to improving Brazil, adding that “for that purpose, neither political parties, nor positions or elections are necessary.”
The anchorman said name “showed up center stage in the discussion about the country’s most important job because of the circumstances of total frustration with the political class and the options offered for succession so far.”
An Ibope poll released last month showed former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was convicted of corruption in one of seven cases, in the lead, with 35 percent support among likely voters.
Lula has indicated his willingness to run for president again, but his nomination hinges on the outcome of an appeal of his conviction.
Running second in the polls is conservative Congressman Jair Bolsonaro, a strong supporter of the military regime that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985, who is backed by 13 percent of likely voters.