Brazil President Michel Temer has denied that he had any plan to run in the upcoming presidential elections in October.
In an interview on Friday, Temer denied that the federal takeover of Rio de Janeiro’s public security operations was a move aimed at increasing his popularity so that he could run again, Xinhua news agency reported.
Temer is a former Vice President who took over in 2016 after the impeachment of Dilma Rousseff.
Over the past week, it has been widely speculated that Temer might run again as the intervention in Rio was conveniently timed, especially as he could use its worsening security to try and boost his approval.
“The intervention is a master move, but it has no electoral motive,” Temer said. “I will not be a candidate.”
The second speculated motive for the intervention was the voting of a constitutional amendment on social security reform, which was due to take place on February 19, after months of government efforts.
However, Temer decreed the intervention three days before the vote, which the government looked likely to lose. Under Brazilian law, any constitutional changes are suspended when a federal intervention is declared, giving Temer more time to try and garner more votes.
In the same interview, Temer also denied he will create a new tax to finance public security efforts.