A key member of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s Cabinet formally resigned Monday only days after Congress initiated moves that could result in the chief executive’s impeachment. Civil Aviation Minister Eliseu Padilha handed in a letter of resignation, saying his action was “irreversible.” He cited “personal reasons.” Although occupying a second-tier ministry, Padilha had served as a key negotiator for the Rousseff Administration with Congress. He is considered a close ally of Vice President Michel Temer. Last week, Congress initiated consideration of a public petition that could lead to Rousseff’s impeachment. Temer has avoided public comment on the impeachment move in a strategy political risk analysts say is designed to put distance between himself and an unpopular administration. In comments to reporters Monday, President Rousseff said she had “total confidence” in Temer’s loyalty to the administration. She also called for swift congressional action on the impeachment motion, including cancelation of the usual congressional year-end recess.
Link to government news agency release