Home Politics & World News Brazil’s Bolsonaro appoints active-duty general as chief of staff

Brazil’s Bolsonaro appoints active-duty general as chief of staff


FILE PHOTO: Brazilian Army General Walter Souza Braga Netto (R) arrives at a meeting with Brazil’s President Michel Temer on the results of the federal intervention in Rio de Janeiro’s security, Brazil August 30, 2018. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Thursday he had picked Army General Walter Braga as his chief of staff, replacing Onyx Lorenzoni, who will move to head the Citizenship Ministry.

Braga is currently the Army’s chief of staff and its second highest-ranking officer. He will take office on Tuesday.

The appointment of Braga, the second active-duty general in the Cabinet, raises to seven the number of military men in the 20-member Cabinet.

Most are retired, with the exception of active-duty Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Marcos Pontes, Brazil’s first and only astronaut and now minister of science and technology.

Bolsonaro tweeted the announcement of the long-awaited Cabinet shuffle that removes Lorenzoni from his inner Cabinet.

Lorenzoni, one of the first politicians to back Bolsonaro’s presidential bid, had failed to mobilize political support for the government’s agenda in Congress, a job that went to Army General Luiz Eduardo Ramos in June.

The chief of staff post also lost power with the recent transfer to the Economy Ministry of a program charged with privatizing state assets.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu; Writing by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Sandra Maler and Jonathan Oatis