Yet another minister resigns from Brazil government

The World

A seventh minister has resigned from the government of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff amid charges of corruption.

Cities Minister Mario Negromonte handed in his resignation yesterday after the Folha de Sao Paulo newspaper added to claims that he had awarded public works contracts to companies which helped finance his political party, reports the BBC.

October saw the resignation of Sports Minister Orlando Silva, accused of embezzling around $23 million from ministry coffers over eight years.  The early half of last year also saw the resignations of Transport Minister Alfredo Nascimento and Chief of Staff Antonio Palocci.

Rousseff's government came into power in January 2010 and since is seen as having taken a tougher line on corruption by supporters though as a political novice, unable to control her cabinet, by critics.

The 64-year-old president is judged against her predecessor, the immensely popular Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva who is credited with 2010's 7.5 percent GDP growth.

Read more: President Rousseff's new rules

“Rousseff,” wrote The Economist, “was considered by many to be a placeholder president, keeping the lights on at the Planalto palace until her former boss returned.”

However, coupled with Lula's cancer and her own popularity ratings of above 70 percent, Rousseff looks to be much more than a placeholder. 

Read more: Brazil’s Lula has throat cancer

She began this week in Cuba, meeting with Fidel Castro, a man she admired as a youngster though whose political path she has now ventured away from as a member of Latin America's more moderate Left. Still, Rousseff is keen to build financial bridges with Cuba.

The tour then took the Brazilian leader to Haiti for talks focusing on how Brazil would deal with Haitian refugees following the January 2010 earthquake there.

Read more: Haiti earthquake refugees flee to Brazil

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