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Brazil’s Lula denies looking to be next UN chief

July 2nd, 2010

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva denied Thursday local press reports that he wants to become the next UN or World Bank chief after he leaves office on January 1, and said he’s too strong a figure for either job.

“That’s nonsense,” Lula said in a television interview when asked about the reports.

“The UN (United Nations) can’t have a strong figure as a secretary general, it must be a bureaucrat. Regarding the World Bank, I don’t look like a banker,” Lula told TV Brasil Internacional on the eve of a six-nation tour of Africa.

Lula also denied reports his Africa tour was designed to seek support for his alleged bid for UN chief.

His trip to Africa includes Cape Verde, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa, where on July 11 he will attend the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Football World Cup.

South African President Jacob Zuma will hand Lula a ceremonial staff traditionally given to the leader of the next World Cup host country, which in 2016 will be Brazil.

On January 1, Lula will finish two consecutive terms in office. The presidential election for his successor will be held October 3. His chosen successor, former guerrilla Dilma Rousseff, is the current frontrunner in opinion polls.


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