Brazil's President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva appointed Antonio Paulo Vogel de Medeiros as Deputy Sports Minister, it was reported Tuesday. The news became relevant since Medeiros worked as the executive secretary (second-in-command) at the Education Ministry under former President Jair Bolsonaro and even served as acting Minister between 2019 and 2020 following the departure of staunch Bolsonarist Abraham Wintraub.
Sports Minister André Fufuca downplayed the controversy and maintained that the new executive secretary has a completely technical profile.
He is completely technical: he has gone through several governments because he has competence. He worked with Weintraub but also with [current Finance Minister Fernando] Haddad, said Fufuca.
Meanwhile, Bolsonaro and his running mate General Walter Braga Netto have been disenfranchised by the Supreme Electoral Court (TSE) for a third time for eight years for abuse of power during the 2022 campaign. All previous 8-year terms are to be counted concurrently. Hence, Tuesday’s ruling does not change Bolsonaro’s legal status for future elections.
Bolsonaro and Braga Netto were found by Justice Benedito Gonçalves to have abused their powers during the September 7 Independence Day celebrations ahead of the runoff against Lula. The former head of state is thus banned from participating in elections until 2030.
Gonçalves merely applied a previous TSE plenary ruling concerning the same facts in which abuse of power had already been deemed proven and ordered ”the immediate communication of this decision to the Secretariat of the Electoral General Corregimiento so that it makes the due notation in the record of Jair Messias Bolsonaro and Walter Souza Braga Netto, in the Electoral Register, of the hypothesis of restriction to their passive electoral capacity, also as a result of this action of electoral judicial investigation (AIJE)” before moving on with the study of the same case regarding other defendants.
Last month, the full TSE concluded by a 5-2 majority that Bolsonaro and Braga Netto had used the state apparatus for electioneering purposes during the Sept. 7 celebrations.
At the time, Gonçalves cited, among the accusations, Bolsonaro's interview with state-run TV Brasil, wearing the presidential sash, before the start of the parade in Brasília, as well as the government's authorization for farmers' tractors supporting the former president to participate in the military parade.