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Brazilian President Michel Temer Nominates Aloysio Nunes Minister of Foreign Affairs

03/03/2017 - 11h45

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MARINA DIAS
GUSTAVO URIBE
FROM BRASÍLIA

On Thursday (2), Brazil's president, Michel Temer, nominated senator Aloysio Nunes (Brazilian Social Democracy Party) to run Itamaraty, the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Nunes, who is the majority leader in the senate, had been at the top of Temer's list to head the ministry ever since the former minister, José Serra, stepped down for health reasons on the 22nd of February.

Nunes will take office on Tuesday (7), the same day Osmar Serraglio will start heading the Ministry of Justice.
In a video released on social media Thursday, Nunes said "at a time when Brazil is beginning to recover from a profound crisis, foreign policy can really help out when it comes to the economy, international commerce and investments".

The senator said he intends to "breed new life" into the Mercosul and align the members of the economic bloc with with those of the Pacific Alliance.

Nunes was the chairman of the International Relations Senate Committee and his performance led Itamaraty's staff to consider him a good pick.

He has also been a close ally of, and friends with, former minister Serra for several years.

Nunes' name came up in a testimony given to investigators by Ricardo Pessoa. Pessoa is the CEO of UTC, a construction firm.

The businessman said that the senator received R$ 500,000 (US$ 160,000) in campaign contributions back in 2010, R$ 300,000 (US$ 95,000) of which were made by legal means, while R$ 200 thousand (US$ 65,000) were irregular.

The businessman stated that both contributions were actually bribes to obtain government contracts from Petrobras. Nunes has stated that all campaign contributions he received were legal and accounted for.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

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