By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced on Monday, December 29th, seven more new cabinet members who will help her during her second term in office. Among the nominations announced yesterday are Transport Minister Antonio Carlos Rodrigues, Agrarian Development Minister Patrus Ananias and Social Security Minister Carlos Gabas.
Since winning the bid for a second term in late October President Rousseff has been discussing with close allies names to make up her new cabinet. An entirely ‘new administration’ was one of Rousseff’s campaign pledges.
According to local media, the President had to revise her choices after some of the selected names were included in a list given by former Petrobras director, Paulo Roberto Costa, to the federal police, as receiving money from a money-laundering and corruption scheme.
At the end of November the Rousseff Administration surprised the financial market as well as her own political allies by announcing the appointment of former bank executive Joaquim Levy as Finance Minister. Levy is not affiliated with the government-backed PT party (Worker’s Party), and was chief economist of the Planning Ministry during the Cardoso Administration. On December 23rd President Rousseff announced another thirteen ministers who will be part of her cabinet starting January 1st.
Among Rousseff’s most controversial appointments is Senator Katia Abreu to head the Agriculture, Livestock and Supply Ministry. Several environmental groups and indigenous communities have criticized the appointment of Abreu, current president of the Confederação Nacional da Agricultura – CNA (National Agriculture Confederation), saying that it will be a big step backwards in terms of environmental policies and indigenous rights.
The President is expected to announce the last fifteen appointments on January 1st.