Brazil's Lula to announce his economic team soon, aide says

FILE PHOTO: COP27 climate summit in Egypt

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil's President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is expected to announce his economic team in the coming days, a close aide said on Monday, as speculation grows on who will be the country's next finance minister.

Congressman Reginaldo Lopes, the leader of the Workers Party in the Lower House, told reporters that Lula, who is in Brasilia this week to discuss cabinet appointments, would soon make an announcement needed to advance talks with Congress on approval of a bill allowing a spending cap waiver.

Former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad has recently emerged as the front-runner to be finance minister, but he is viewed as a less market-friendly choice.

A second Lula aide, Congressman Jose Guimaraes, added during a news conference that Lula's Workers Party was likely to support Arthur Lira's re-election as Lower House speaker, with an official announcement expected on Tuesday.

Lira has been a key ally of right-wing President Jair Bolsonaro in Congress, but engaged in talks with Lula and Vice-President elect Geraldo Alckmin since the leftist leader defeated Bolsonaro in a runoff election in October.

Securing Congressional support is seen as key to Lula's ability to govern, especially as he tries to get lawmakers to pass a budget spending cap waiver that would make room for higher welfare payments for poor families in 2023.

(Reporting by Ricardo Brito; Editing by Bill Berkrot)