Bolsonaro’s Cabinet Is Completed
President-elect Jair Bolsonaro finished his cabinet nomination process. He will have 22 ministers rather than 15 he needed to fulfill his pledge to cut the number of ministerial jobs in government in half.
But he did as promised by not negotiating any post with political parties. His constituency will certainly praise him for this, but he may have to pay a price for it with the current and incoming Congresses.
Much of the cabinet has little experience in government. Out of the 22, 17 have never served in the executive branch at any level of government and 16 have never had a legislative mandate.
Such lack of experience, added to Bolsonaro’s bold plans for reengineering the federal government, could make the new administration’s initial months particularly bumpy and even stall the machinery for a while.
Bolsonaro is already facing some self-inflicted political troubles, caused in part by his sons. An intense exchange of insults in a WhatsApp group between one of his sons and other leaders of his party was leaked to the public and showed that there are serious cracks in the core of his future legislative support base.
Potentially even more damaging, the Brazilian money laundering enforcement agency detected “atypical” transactions totaling USD 300.000 from accounts belonging to a former aide to Senator-elect Flavio Bolsonaro, another son of the president.
His radical anti-graft discourse was the most important factor for many of his voters, and any suspicion that Bolsonaro or his family might be involved in illegal financial schemes could seriously hurt him.
The President-elect said he has nothing to hide and that the whole situation will be clarified soon.
With regard to his agenda, Bolsonaro has also been questioned about what many have considered to be inconsistencies concerning his commitment to pension overhaul, consensually deemed essential to solving the country’s fiscal problems.
He has now begun saying that he will tackle the problem through piecemeal reforms that can pass Congress, starting with an increase in the minimum retirement age, instead of a full program as current President Temer has tried.
Several analysts think that this gradual reform might not have the necessary impact on public accounts needed to ensure investor confidence in the country.
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