Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Temer Picks Pro-US, Pro-Privatization Lawmaker to Lead Brazil Senate
Aloysio Nunes was also a key figure in Dilma Rousseff's impeachment. | Photo: Wiki Commons

31 May 2016

President Temer has chosen Aloysio Nunes as his new leader in Brazil’s Senate, a man who has frequently pushed for closer relations to the U.S.

Aloysio Nunes, a key opposition figure involved in former President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment who has ties to Washington, has been appointed the new government leader in Brazil’s Senate, Reporter Diario reported Tuesday.

Nunes, of the center-right party PSDB, will be meeting at the Presidential Palace for the invitation to be formalized. President Michel Temer called the president of the PSDB Tuesday morning to communicate his choice.

The day Brazil’s lower house of Congress voted to impeach the country’s president Dilma Rousseff, Nunes was sent to Washington by Temer.

He met with various U.S. officials and lobbyists, including the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, as well as the Washington lobbying firm Albright Stonebridge Group that was formerly headed by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

The choice to send Nunes to Washington was likely a strategic one. He lost his bid for the vice presidency with PSDB in 2014, the year Rousseff was reelected, and he has repeatedly called for closer ties with the U.S. Like other members of the House who pushed for impeachment, Nunes has many corruption allegations against him.

Isabel Monteiro, an artist and activist based in Sao Paulo, criticized Nunes’ new role on Twitter, stating: “What's really behind the appointment of Aloysio Nunes as new Gov leader at the Senate? Oil. É o Petróleo, stupid!”

Nunes has been one of the key figures behind a proposal to open up the country’s Presalt Oil reserves to foreign investors, wresting control away from the state oil company, Petrobras. These reserves are estimated to be worth around US$10-20 trillion.  

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