During the course of this week, the president, Jair Bolsonaro, has found himself in strong tensions in his government coalition and groups that support him, which has led him to make ministerial changes that have increased the tension even more. Bolsonaro is in negotiation with the presidents of the Chambers to push for new changes in their cabinets. The three ministers who could leave office in the short term are the heads of Environment, Mines and Energy and Tourism.
Since last week, the Congress and its authorities, particularly Arthur Lira (PP- ruling party) have made statements explaining that if the president did not moderate the government, there would be consequences, where the main threat has been to initiate an impeachment process against the president due to the handling of the pandemic. It should be noted that today the president has numerous impeachment requests against him and the president of the Chamber of Deputies has the power to initiate these processes if he deems it convenient.
As such, Lira’s remarks last week resonated strongly in the government, forcing the president to make six ministerial changes. The strategy has been to remove ministers with strong “ideological” tendencies in favor of more “moderate” people. Among the ministers removed from office are Foreign Minister Ernesto Araujo and Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva.
Azevedo e Silva’s resignation brought new tensions. The commander of the Navy, the Army and Aeronautics have expressed today that they will leave their posts. The Ministry of Defense has not yet explained the reasons for the resignations, but it is estimated that it is the result of the dismissal of the former minister. This is an unprecedented situation in Brazilian history.