Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has made six cabinet reshuffles, the largest cabinet reshuffle since taking office on Monday.
Three ministers, including Chinese foreign minister Ernesto Araújo, have left the government, raising criticism from legislators for not guaranteeing additional COVID-19 vaccine supplies from Beijing and Washington.
There were no prior words about the resignation of Defense Minister Fernando Azevedo e Silva and rumors of dissatisfaction.
“During this time, I protected the military as a national agency,” Azevedo e Silva wrote in a ministry statement. “I will definitely leave a fulfilled mission.”
On his behalf, Bolsonaro appointed his current Chief of Staff, Walter Souza Braga Net. This is one of the former Army Generals who moved into the government’s internal orbit.
Another former general, Luiz Eduardo Ramos, will take over as Chief of Staff, leaving Flavia Arruda, the first member of the Diet associated with Bolsonaro’s new ally, with cabinet-level legislative priorities.
General Jose Levi Melo, a foreign lawyer who had not specifically signed the government’s request for the Supreme Court to block the state’s stay-at-home order in a pandemic, said in a letter that he would resign.
Bolsonaro replaces him with the current Minister of Justice Andre Mendonça. Andre Mendonsa’s role lies with Anderson Gustavo Torres, a federal police officer who is currently responsible for the security of federal territories, including the capital Brasilia.
Carlos Alberto Franco Franca, a diplomat near Bolsonaro, has been appointed as the new foreign minister, according to a statement from the presidential press that outlined the changes.
Last week, Bolsonaro succeeded Health Minister Eduardo Pazuero, an active general who oversaw most of the coronavirus reactions. He was widely criticized for the patch vaccine program, which gave the first dose to less than 10 percent of adults.
New Health Minister Marcelo Vieira told lawmakers Monday that he hopes to procure US vaccine supplies and will meet with the US ambassador to ensure early delivery of 20 million times.