By Sarah de Sainte Croix, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Yesterday the Palácio do Planalto, (Brazil’s version of the White House), confirmed that it has swapped Romero Jucá and Cândido Vaccarezza, for Eduardo Braga and Arlindo Chinaglia, as leaders of the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies respectively.
It is believed to be a strategic move on the part of Dilma Rousseff to take control of a fractious government which is using its voting power to communicate dissatisfaction over what Jucá called, “budgetary matters,” (according to an article by Agência Brasil), and the distribution of political positions.
The switch around comes after a rebellion in the government last week over Rousseff’s proposal to install Bernardo Figueiredo as director general of the ANTT (the National Land Transport Agency).
Rousseff had nominated Figuerido because of his experience in the field, in the hopes that he might be able to speed up progress on the much delayed Rio-São Paulo high-speed train project.
However, the Senate’s vote was 36 to 31 against the nomination. Yesterday, further cracks were beginning to show in the allied base, when the PR (Brazil’s Republican Party – which makes up seven of the total 81 senators), announced that they were moving to the opposition.
As the new leaders of the government, Senator Braga and Deputy Chinaglia have been charged with the sensitive task of trying to calm the waters and unify the government’s base in Congress, in order to smooth the passage of any upcoming government legislation.
Read more (in Portuguese)
* The Rio Times Daily Update is a new feature we are offering to help keep you up-to-date with major news as it happens.