Brazil: Lula names ministers, Bolsonaro breaks silence
Brasilia, Dec 10: Brazil's leftist President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva announced the first members of his cabinet on Friday, while outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro has broken his silence over a month after he lost the election.
The incoming president — universally known as Lula — named five key ministers, with more to come. He is set to take office on January 1.
Haddad announced as finance minister
Former Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad was announced as the incoming minister of finance.
Haddad served as education minister in Lula's previous government and was the Workers' Party (PT) candidate in the 2018 presidential election, during which Lula was barred from running due to a corruption conviction that was later annulled.
The former mayor is a lawyer who holds a master's degree in economics and a doctorate in philosophy. Antonio Madeira of the MCM consultancy firm told the AFP news agency that Haddad "represents the heterodox economic policy" of the PT.
Lula also announced Jose Mucio as incoming defense minister — a civilian who marks a shift away from the series of army generals appointed to the role by Bolsonaro.
After announcing five white men as his first cabinet appointments, Lula promised that "in time, you will see more women than men here... as well as a number of Afro-Brazilians."
"We will try and form a government in the image of Brazilian society," he added.
Bolsonaro: 'It hurts my soul'
Also on Friday, outgoing right-wing President Bolsonaro broke his silence for only the second time since losing the presidential election on October 30.
In an ambiguous statement, Bolsonaro acknowledged he had kept silent for almost 40 days and added that "it hurts my soul."
"Who decides where I go are you. Who decides which way the armed forces go are you," the far-right leader told his supporters at the gates of the presidential residence.
He did not explicitly recognize Lula's victory, nor did he endorse some of his supporters' calls for a military intervention.
However, Bolsonaro did call the armed forces "the last obstacle against socialism" and said his cause would one day prevail.