Bolsonaro To Merge Finance, Planning and Trade Into One Super Ministry

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Global Markets Celebrate Election of Bolsonaro and Downfall of Merkel AFP 29 Oct 2018

In one of his first television interviews since being elected on Sunday with almost 58mn votes, the former paratrooper, who is notorious for his inflammatory rhetoric, did little to suggest he would temper his discourse after taking power on January 1.

He and his advisors have begun fleshing out the staffing of his administration and setting out key priorities, including a fast-tracked pension reform that has faced resistance in Congress.

He called the reform essential to controlling surging public debt in Latin America's largest economy and making space for public investments to jump-start a sluggish economy.

Bolsonaro himself was stabbed in the abdomen at a rally last month and will need to undergo surgery in mid-December to remove a colostomy bag before he can travel to Santiago and Washington. The Sao Paulo stock market closed up 3.69% on the news.

May Boeve, executive director at climate NGO 350.org, warned that a Bolsonaro presidency posed "a real threat to human rights at home and a risk to the momentum for climate action overseas".

The goal is to reduce by half some 29 ministries by combining others, such as Agriculture and Environment, said Deputy Onyx Lorenzoni, who may become Bolsonaro's next chief of staff.

Rubens Barbosa, a former Brazilian ambassador to Washington, believes that ultimately Bolsonaro will backtrack on his most radical foreign policy positions. "You are all scared because he is a politician talking about the economy. It's not going to work", Guedes said.

Bolsonaro, who outraged many with his vitriolic and intolerant rhetoric during the campaign, had struck a more conciliatory tone in the home stretch.

Lula's substitute, Fernando Haddad, lost Sunday's runoff election to Bolsonaro by 10 percentage points, as voters punished the Workers' Party - victor of the previous four presidential elections - for corruption and economic malaise. He said during a recent interview that he would invite Judge Sergio Moro to be his justice minister or fill a future vacancy on the supreme court. The court's next vacancy is expected in 2020. "But now I can say I want to (invite Moro)".

In a statement to The Associated Press on Tuesday, Moro said such an invitation "would be the object of careful discussion and reflection".

Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro has revisited his most contentious campaign promises, calling for looser gun laws, urging a high-profile anti-corruption judge to join his government and promising to cut government advertising for media that "lie".

"I do intend to (approach Moro). maybe for the justice ministry", he told TV network Record.

In addition to the president-elect downplaying Brazil's past military rule, observers worry Brazil is taking another authoritarian turn: More incoming legislators will be former military officers or former federal police than at any point since the end of military rule.

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