by Luciana Lima and Daniela Jinkings
Brasília – President Dilma Rousseff has nominated senator Gleisi Hoffman (PT-PR) to be the new presidential Chief of Staff (“ministra-chefe da Casa Civil”), replacing Antonio Palocci.
Hoffman has been a member of the PT since 1989. In 2002, she was a member of the transition team as the Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva prepared to take office.
She ran for the senate from Paraná in 2006 and lost. She ran for mayor of Curitiba in 2008 and lost. Shortly after that election, she became the state president of the PT. Last year, she ran for the senate again and was elected with almost 3.2 million votes (two senators were elected and she was the one with the most votes).
Gleisi Hoffman has been a state secretary in Mato Grosso do Sul (Administrative Restructuring), a city official in Londrina (Public Management) and the Director of Finances at the Bi-National Itaipu hydroelectric power plant.
The new minister is a 45-year-old lawyer and is married to Dilma’s minister of Communications, Paulo Bernardo (he was Lula’s minister of Planning). They have two children.
Earlier News Brief
by by Luciana Lima
Brasília - Shortly after 6:00 pm last night, minister Antonio Palocci, the presidential Chief of Staff (“ministro-chefe da Casa Civil”), submitted a letter of resignation to president Dilma Rousseff. The president accepted his resignation.
According to a note from the Casa Civil, Palocci believes that the decision by the head of the Office of Federal Prosecutors (“procurador-geral da República”), Roberto Gurgel, not to begin a criminal investigation “confirms that his activities were legal and his behavior correct.”
On May 16, the newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported that Palocci, during the period he was a representative (PT-SP) (“deputado federal”) and the Dilma Rousseff presidential campaign manager (“coordenou a campanha eleitoral de Dilma Rousseff à Presidência”), that is, between 2006 and 2010, worked as a consultant and made an amount of money that increased his worth some 20 times (“patrimônio do ministro teria aumentado 20 vezes”).
After the campaign, Palocci became a member of the transition team that prepared for the new government to take office in January. He was appointed Chief of Staff at that time.
Palocci is the first member of president Dilma Rousseff’s cabinet to resign, 158 days after the new administration took office.
This is the second time Antonio Palocci has been forced to resign from a prominent and powerful position in the federal government. In March 2006 he resigned as minister of Finance in what became known as the scandal of the violation of the gardener’s bank account. A whistleblower gardener had revealed that Palocci lied about his relations with lobbyists.
Allen Bennett – translator/editor The News in English (ABr)