BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva says he plans to stay active in politics even after his eight years in office end Dec. 31.

The hugely popular leader has declined to clear up the mystery surrounding his plans for the future, hinting only that it could be linked to Latin American integration or African development.

At the close of a summit in Brasilia on Monday, Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit lamented that Silva would not be at future meetings.

Silva responded by saying he will continue in politics, adding: "I was born a politician and will die a politician."

Silva has hand-picked his former chief of staff, Dilma Rousseff, to run as his party's presidential candidate in October's election.