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Dilma Rousseff Signals Finance Minister Might Be Substituted if She Faces Reelection

09/05/2014 - 08h54

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ANDRÉ UZÊDA
FROM FORTALEZA

VALDO CRUZ
FROM BRASÍLIA

One day after Ms Rousseff signaled changes to her staff and to her government's policies in an eventual second mandate, news came on Thursday, September 4th, that the Finance Minister, Guido Mantega, might be substituted if Ms Rousseff is reelected.

During an interview in the city of Fortaleza, the Brazilian president was asked specifically about the future of Mantega to which she replied: "A new election means a new government, a new team".

"What I mean is that I am not going to name ministers for a second mandate. I haven't been elected yet. I don't suppose you remember the ministers who took up office before the general election?", Ms Rousseff concluded.

Ms Rousseff made reference to former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who sat in the mayor's seat for the city of São Paulo before the 1985 elections and ended up losing to Jânio Quadros.

The president stuck to the theme: "I won't speak [of staff names], do you want to know why? Because it brings bad luck to talk about something that hasn't happened yet. Nevertheless, it will be a new government, it will require a new staff. I have no doubt about that".

In an interview to Folha last night, presidential aides said that Dilma's speech in the state of Ceará was part of a "process" to bring her government closer to the business sector and that it does suggest a change to the financial team is impending, if the current president faces reelection.

Mantega has been in charge since 2006 and is the minister to have held the longest office in the country during the democratic period.

The president's speech was ill-received in the Ministry. According to aides, Ms Rousseff weakened the minister throughout his current mandate.

In the business sectors that have warmed up to the presidential candidate Marina Silva (PSB), the News was well received.

Folha spoke to two business leaders who have said that the private sector assessed positively the current president's announcement.

Ms Rousseff has been pressured by former president Lula to signal changes to the country's political economy in an eventual second office and also to her staff, in order to get business support.

Last year Lula suggested Guido Mantega to be replaced, which Dilma promised to assess, an advice she ended up not taking.

Translated by CRISTIANE COSTA LIMA

Read the article in the original language

Pedro Ladeira/Folhapress
Finance Minister Guido Mantega (left) might be substituted if Ms Rousseff is reelected
Finance Minister Guido Mantega (left) might be substituted if Ms Rousseff is reelected

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