RIO DE JANEIRO/SAO PAULO, March 20 (Reuters) - Next month's expected departure of Brazil's Energy Minister Fernando Coelho Filho, likely to resign so he can run for office, is damaging efforts to privatize state-controlled power holding company Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, two sources close to the matter said on Tuesday.
The sources, who spoke on condition that they not be named because they were not authorized to speak to the press, said that it has become clear that veteran Senator Edison Lobao, a former energy minister, has regained his political grip on the energy sector. Another senator and former energy minister, Eduardo Braga, has also risen as a powerful force in determining who becomes the next minister. Both Lobao and Braga, who are of the same political party, are against any privatization. (Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier in Rio de Janeiro and Luciano Costa in Sao Paulo; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)