Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff is trying to show she is different from former president Lula da Silva. Rousseff prefers strict rules and technical work as opposed to Lula’s political more relaxed way of governing.
During his eight year presidency Lula da Silva used his instinct and tranquillity tolead the country. The new president, three week in to the job, has already shown that she is going to be different and that she prefers strict rules, executive and technical work and efficiency. The first thing that showed a change in the way or working was that during her inaugural speech on January 1st, Rousseff used an academic tone, compared to da Silva’s almost emotional communications. Da Silva is Rousseff’s political sponsor, so the differences are noted even more so.
Since coming in to office Rousseff has only made on speech in public, when the visited the areas where the tragic flooding and mudslides took place in Rio de Janeiro, something no leader could ignore.
Political analyst and columnist of the Folha de Sao Pablo Clovis Rossi said it is “too early” to really perceive Dilma’s ways of leading the country. “She has only been president for 20 days, it’s nothing for someone who will be president for 1.260 days,” he added.
At her first cabinet meeting, Rousseff set down the rules for the four years she will be in office. One of the assistants at the meeting told Spanish newspaper El Pais said she was “severe” in her words, with the ministers who talked too much and came up with “fantasy” ideas. Dilma wants none of that. She wants all of her 37 ministers to work like business people, with definite guidelines and specific targets. She also divided her cabinet in to four groups and will meet each separately, thus avoiding meeting with large numbers of ministers.
She has also imposed a series of rules, which differ tremendously from those at the Planalto government palace under Lula. From now on, meetings will take place on time. Rousseff is always the first to arrive in the morning. Nobody will be allowed in to her office if they are on the telephone and people going into meetings will have to switch off their mobile phone so it will not be interrupted. Individual meetings between the president and ministers will not be allowed to go on too long: Principal ministers will have quarter of an hour and others only five minutes.
Rousseff has also imposed a number of rules her ministers must comply with as far as ethics, public spending and their expenses are concerned. She has restricted the use of government cars and Air Force aircraft. In the past ministers who wanted to visit their home town at the weekend took Air Force aeroplanes, but from now on, unless there are extreme circumstances, they will have to use private companies along with the rest of Brazilians.
President Rousseff has told her ministers that meetings with her will be on Friday, which prevents them from leaving town on a Thursday for the weekend.
She is strict with her work, but in her first few weeks as president she has returned to her native Porto Alegre at the weekend. There she meets no one and spends time with her daughter and grandson.
Numerous women have relocated to the Brazilian capital and seat of government, Brasilia with the new president. Her 86-year old mother Dilma Jane; her only daughter, Paula, age 34; captain Marina Ester Homsani, the first woman in charge of her staff; her two most trusted advisors Cleonice Maria Campos Dorneles and Marly Ponce Branco and her stylist Luisa Stadtlander.