Vice President Michel Temer, 75, assumed power Thursday as Acting President of Brazil following a congressional impeachment vote temporarily removing President Dilma Rousseff from office. A full Senate trial later this year will determine whether Rousseff is removed permanently from office or allowed to resume presidential duties. Temer took the reins in a brief signing ceremony in Brasília. He is due to make a public statement later Thursday. Temer immediately named a 22-member Cabinet, down from 32 members under Rousseff. Temer shaved the number of Cabinet posts by eliminating some jobs and combining others under a single Cabinet designation. Temer’s Cabinet has no women. There are no holdovers from Rousseff’s Cabinet. Most members of the new Cabinet are experienced politicians with long careers in appointive and elective offices. Five members stand out when it comes to key economic and foreign policy decisions. Experienced banker Henrique Meirelles, 70, will be the new Finance Minister. Meirelles is a former International President of Bank Boston and a former long-time President of the Brazilian Central Bank. Critical budget matters will be under the control of Planning Minister Romero Jucá, 61, a Senator belonging to the same PMDB (Partido do Movimento Democrático Brasileiro) as Temer. São Paulo Senator José Serra, 74, will be Foreign Minister, representing the powerful Social Democratic Party (PSDB). Another long-time PMDB politician, former Congressman Eliseu Padilha, 70, will serve as Temer’s Chief-of-Staff. Senator Blairo Maggi, a 59-year-old soybean producer, will serve as Minister of Agriculture, representing the Progressive Party (PP).
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