Ten members of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s cabinet and three other top officials have resigned from their positions in a move seen to help boost the far-right leader’s re-election prospects ahead of the general election.
According to Brazil’s electoral law, top officials must resign from their current posts before they can run for other positions.
“Campaigning in a country this size is difficult; you need people to help with that. Their effort backs the president’s own re-election effort,” said Carlos Melo, a political science professor at Insper University in Sao Paulo, noting that Latin America’s largest nation has 27 states and more than 5,000 municipalities.
On Saturday, former left-wing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva participated in an event commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of Brazil, telling the crowd he believed the electorate would remove Bolsonaro from office this year.
On Thursday, Bolsonaro, a former army captain, celebrated the legacy of the two-decade military dictatorship on the anniversary of the 1964 coup and then lauded his Cabinet for its work since he took office in 2019.
“One-third of my ministers leave today with their heads held high,” Bolsonaro said. “It’s obvious that they will run for office. If not, they wouldn’t leave.”
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