BRASILIA (Reuters) – The speaker of Brazil’s lower house of Congress, Rodrigo Maia, who has been a key supporter of Economy Minister Paulo Guedes’ reform agenda, said categorically on Wednesday that he will not be running for re-election in February.
“I am not a candidate for re-election as president of the Chamber,” Maia told reporters, ending months of speculation over his plans.
Maia, 50, played a crucial role in getting the government’s pension reform through an unenthusiastic Congress last year and has backed other reforms planned by Guedes, such as the need to modernize and simplify Brazil’s complex tax system.
By law, Maia could not seek a new two-year term as head of the lower chamber in the same session of Congress, an issue that the Supreme Court is expected to rule on.
Maia, a congressman from Rio de Janeiro, was investigated for bribes he allegedly received from Brazilian engineering conglomerate Odebrecht, according to a federal police report sent last year to the prosecutor general, who has yet to decide whether to indict Maia.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Leslie Adler)