By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The interim president of Brazil, Michel Temer, vows the country will not appoint any more directors or presidents of state-controlled entities until a law is passed that requires positions to be filled with technocrats and not political nominations.
“We have halted any appointment to the board and presidency of state-run companies or pension funds until the project that is in the Chamber of Representatives is approved,” said the Temer on Monday in Brasília.
According to Temer the project states that only those with high technical qualifications will be appointed. The bill, which was approved by the Senate in April is expected to be voted on by Brazil’s Lower House this week.
The interim leader said that nominating technocrats instead of political appointees will help limit public spending and make the administration of state-controlled entities more efficient.
Critics say that for decades, the governing Brazilian administrations have used top positions in large state-controlled companies as bargaining chips for political support, ‘giving’ away top jobs to main political party allies for Congressional backing, whether those nominated were qualified for the position or not.
Now Temer proclaims he is willing to break the system. Two weeks ago, when accepting the nomination to head Brazil’s oil giant, Petrobras, former Bunge Brasil president, Pedro Parente told reporters that Temer had assured him that that there would be no political interference in his tenure.
According to Parente, Temer gave him his word that ‘there wold be no political appointments in Petrobras’. Petrobras, once the most powerful company in Brazil, has been marred by what many consider the largest corruption scandal in the country’s history. The mega money-laundering graft had as its main leaders, people who were appointed by politicians and political leaders.