Rio governor says 'only a matter of time' before he becomes Brazil president

Rio governor says 'only a matter of time' before he becomes Brazil president
  • Clock-gray 07:52
  • calendar-gray 17 July 2019

The far-right governor of Rio de Janeiro state, who has likened drug dealers to terrorists and Nazis while advocating snipers in helicopters to shoot them dead, said on Tuesday “it is only a matter of time” before he becomes president of Brazil, APA reports citing Xinhua.

Wilson Witzel, a former federal judge, was widely seen as a long-shot to become governor of Rio state in last year’s elections. But his law-and-order rhetoric helped align him with the eventual winner of the 2018 presidential race, former army captain Jair Bolsonaro, hoisting him to an unlikely victory.

“Without doubt,” Witzel said, when asked by foreign journalists in Rio if he believed he would be president in the future. He did not specify when he might run.

Witzel’s comments suggest Bolsonaro is likely to face tough challenges from both the left and the right if he seeks re-election in 2022. Bolsonaro had promised during last year’s campaign to do away with re-election for Brazilian presidents but recently said he could run for second term.

Sao Paulo Governor João Doria, whose once-close ties with Bolsonaro have frayed since he took charge of the wealthy and relatively peaceful state earlier this year, is also expected to run.

Faiq Mahmudov

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