Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro Tuesday has picked Senator Ciro Nogueira to head of the Government's Civil House, a position similar to that of Cabinet Chief or Minister of the Presidency in other countries.
The decision is regarded as a move by Bolsonaro to garner support from center to center right political parties which make up what is known as “Centrao,” a movement led by Nogueira which represent 60 percent of the deputies. Nogueira is president of the right-wing Progressive Party (PP).
Nogueira, who has also played key roles in the administrations of former Presidents Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Luiz Inácio Lula Da Silva, Dilma Rousseff and Michel Temer, Tuesday announced on Twitter that he had just accepted the honorable invitation of President Jair Bolsonaro to assume the Civil House.
The centrist leader is currently under investigation by the Prosecutor's Office, in cases related to Operation Lava Jato, which uncovered a huge corruption network that diverted money from public companies for the benefit of politicians and businessmen, but was also used to imprison Lula, under unsubstantiated claims.
Very much aware of this situation, Bolsonaro has already announced that should Nogueira be “tried and convicted, I will remove him from my government.”
It is expected that Nogueira will also take over the General Secretary of the Presidency, headed until now by Onyx Lorenzoni, who will in turn take over the Labor Ministry, which is becoming an entity independent from the Ministry of Economy where it was merged at the beginning of Bolsonaro's term.
Analysts Bolsonaro believe Bolsonaro's choice of Nogueira aims at rebuilding his own political strength in view of his drop in popularity amid corruption allegations and a questionable management of the coronavirus crisis, which includes a mega petition for his impeachment before the House of Deputies.
That filing is being stalled by House Speaker Arthur Lira, who belongs to Nogueira's party and who has proved to be a true Bolsonarist.
Recent opinion polls also have shown Bolsonaro would be defeated handily by former leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in next year's presidential elections.