Dilma Rousseff, Brazil’s president-elect, has nominated five cabinet members from the Party of Brazilian Democratic Movement (PMDB) her most important coalition partner in an effort to secure congressional support for her government.
The ministers are from the centrist PMDB, the largest ally in the 10-party coalition that will form Rousseff’s new government starting January 1st.
Rousseff, who was elected with an ample majority on October 31st, last month appointed a market-friendly economic team that surprised investors by promising deep budget cuts.
Finance Minister Guido Mantega, who will remain in office, has said that Rousseff requested a “heavy hand” on budget spending and would make at least 20 billion reais (US$ 11.7 billion) in cuts.
Senator Edison Lobão, who was Energy minister until April, will return to the same job, according to a statement issued by Rousseff’s office.
Lobão will oversee the implementation of a legal overhaul of the oil industry that has been approved by Congress. He will also lead a restructuring of the mining sector, which would heighten regulatory oversight and restrict exploration concessions.
Agriculture Minister Wagner Rossi will remain in his current post. He is one of several well-known names from the outgoing administration that Rousseff has picked in a sign of policy continuity.
Senator Garibaldi Alves will head the Social Security Ministry, where he will have to tackle a rising deficit of the country’s costly pension system.
The PMDB is the largest party in the Senate and the second-largest force in the Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Congress.
Its support is crucial to ensure Rousseff the 60% majority necessary to approve constitutional reforms, which she may need for her proposed overhaul of an unwieldy tax system.
Two PMDB legislators from the Chamber of Deputies, Pedro Novais and Moreira Franco, will take the Tourism and Strategic Affairs portfolios, respectively.
So far Ms Rousseff has confirmed 16 ministers. Last week she announced the names of Antonio Palocci as head of the Civil House; Gilberto Carvalho, Secretary General of the Presidency; Jose Eduardo Cardozo, Minister of Justice and Nelson Jobim was confirmed in Defense. The economic team continues with Guido Mantega as minister; Miriam Belchior in Planning and Alexandre Tombini, as Central bank president.
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