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By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Less than 24 hours after confirming the nomination of Osmar Serraglio as Brazil’s new Justice Minister, the government of President Michel Temer has been receiving criticism even within his own political party for the choice.

Brazil, Brasilia,New Justice Minister Osmar Serraglio,
New Justice Minister Osmar Serraglio, photo by Fabio Rodrigues Pozzebom/Agência Brasil.

“[Serraglio] is a member of the group of Eduardo Cunha. It’s as if Cunha was in the Ministry,” Senator Roberto Requião told news magazine Exame. According to the senator, a frequent critic of party colleague Michel Temer, a preference was given to the person who could mobilize the most votes for the Administration in Congress.

Although with close ties with former Chamber of Deputies President, Eduardo Cunha, Congressional representative Serraglio was president of the Constitution and Justice Commission (CCJ) in 2016 and head of the proceedings which impeached Cunha from office.

Serraglio was also one of the stronger voices in the PMDB party in favor of leaving the alliance between the PMDB and Dilma Rousseff’s PT government.

PMDB representatives from Minas Gerais also complained about the nomination. As one of the largest states in the republic, Minas Gerais representatives feel the state has been underrepresented in the Temer Administration.

Chamber Vice-President, Fábio Ramalho, of Minas Gerais, announced on Thursday he would be cutting ties with the government of Michel Temer. “It seems that the government hates Minas Gerais,” Ramalho told financial daily Valor Economico, adding that he would seek out other colleagues from the state to accompany him.

Serraglio replaces Alexandre de Moraes, who left the cabinet after being appointed minister of the Federal Supreme Court (STF) by Temer.

The Administration however, expressed ‘full confidence’ in Serraglio’s ability to lead the Ministry. “A lawyer and congressman with a long parliamentary career in the Chamber of Deputies, the deputy brings his broad professional and political experience to work on carrying out the agenda of duties under his responsibility,” said President spokesperson Alexandre Parola.

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