Brazil will start the year with a new President. Jair Messias Bolsonaro has been elected President of Brazil. The far-right candidate received more than 55 percent of valid votes. His pledge to fight crime and corruption following a string of scandals involving politicians of the party that has governed Brazil for almost 15 years have won him mass support.
Who is Jair Bolsonaro?
Born on March 21, 1955 in the small town of Glicério in the State of São Paulo, Jair Messias Bolsonaro graduated from the Agulhas Negras Military Academy in 1977. He run for the Rio de Janeiro City Hall in 1988 and was elected councilman.
In 1990, two years after his election, he won the first of his seven consecutive terms in the position of Federal Deputy. In 2014, he became the most voted candidate in the dispute for the Deputy Chamber with 464,565 votes according to data from the Superior Electoral Court.
In the current legislative session, Bolsonaro is a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations and National Defense, Substitute for the Committee on Foreign Relations and National Defense and Substitute for the Committee on Public Security and Fight against Organized Crime.
During his mandates, he stood out for the defense of the rights of the active military and veterans, he fought for
greater disciplinary in educational institutions, for the reduction of the criminal age, for the possession of firearm by citizens and the right to self-defense, and for Christian values and the traditional family.
Jair is the father of Flávio Bolsonaro, Carlos Bolsonaro and Eduardo Bolsonaro respectively Senator elected by the State of Rio de Janeiro, Councilor of the Municipality of Rio de Janeiro and Federal Deputy elected by the State of São Paulo, the latter won the second term with the largest vote of the country – 1.8 million votes.
The election of 2018 is historic because it was marked by polarization, flood of messages in social networks, fake news and especially by the sweeping and never seen, popular campaign that culminated in the victory of the 38th President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Jair Messias Bolsonaro.
Bolsonaro appealed to Brazilians by promising to “break the system” and depart from the status quo after a tumultuous few years. Brazil suffered from a deep recession starting in 2016. That economic crisis was accompanied by political turmoil, as a massive corruption scandal unspooled in the country at the highest levels of government and business, leaving few high-profile leaders unscathed.
Adding to that, a rise in violent crime has left some voters yearning for order and security, which Bolsonaro — an ex-military officer — promised to deliver.
Considering himself an outsider, Bolsonaro has chosen ministers also considered outsiders:
• Agriculture: Tereza Cristina, Federal Deputy
• Central Bank: Roberto Campos Neto, current director and head of Treasury at Santander Brasil.
• Civil House: Onyx Lorenzoni, Federal Deputy
• Science and Technology: Marcos Pontes, the first Brazilian to travel to space, he is a lieutenant colonel of the Aeronautics.
• Union General Contraller: Wagner Rosário, the only
minister of the current government that will be maintained by Bolsonaro. The minister, who has held the position since June of this year, is a tax auditor and was an officer of the Army.
• Defense: Fernando Azevedo e Silva, Army Reserve General.
• Economy: Paulo Guedes, known during the campaign as economic guru of Bolsonaro.
• Institutional Security Office (GSI): Augusto Heleno, an Army Reserve General, he led the United Nations peacekeeping forces in Haiti and the Amazon Military Command.
• Justiça and Public Safety: Sérgio Moro, a Judge who has gained enormous national and international notoriety for leading, since March 2014, the trial in the first instance of the crimes identified in Operation “Lava Jato.”
• External Relations: Ernesto Araújo, current director of the Department of US, Canada and International Affairs of Itamaraty
• Health: Luiz Henrique Mandetta, Federal Deputy and Doctor
• General Secretariat of the Presidency: Gustavo Bebianno, former PSL (Bolsonaro’s party) president and a lawyer
Brazil and the world will discover if Bolsonaro will make good on these drastic promises when he takes office on January 1, 2019.