Brazil’s President Jair Bolsanaro, who has fallen out of favor amid the ongoing COVID-19 crisis over allegations of corruption, has appointed a senator from the largest congressional constituency as his new chief of staff.
Central Right Progressive Party (PPP) leader Senator Ciro Nokuira tweeted on Tuesday that he had accepted it. He is expected to replace the retired general this week. “I accept the invitation of President Jair Bolsanaro,” Noguevara said on Twitter.
The move comes as the president seeks allies to defend himself from congressional calls for indictment and a Senate inquiry into alleged wrongdoing in the government’s purchase of the Covit-19 vaccine.
Noguira, who belongs to the same party as Hall Speaker Arthur Lira, has refused to accept dozens of indictments filed against Bolzano. In recent weeks, Brazilians have protested against the handling of the Bolsanaro epidemic: Covit-19 has killed more than 550,500 people in South America, according to Johns Hopkins University.
Senator Noguevara faces several judicial proceedings for corruption suspicions.
For the first time since the crisis began, a poll earlier this month showed that a majority of Brazilians supported the legislature’s attempt to impeach Bolsanaro, a COVID-19 suspect who underestimated the severity of the corona virus.
The far-right politician has rejected calls for the imposition of national public health measures, insisting that such restrictions would damage the economy. “We oppose a number of things: the government’s reducing the epidemic, the president’s rejection of health care measures, and the slow start of vaccinations,” a protester in Rio de Janeiro said on July 24.
Thousands of people protested across Brazil demanding Bolsanaro’s accusation. The Brazilian Senate Commission launched an inquiry into Bolsonaro’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis last April, while questions arose about alleged irregularities in the process of obtaining the Corona virus vaccine and allegations of corruption.
Bolzano has denied the allegations, but his reputation has plummeted. According to opinion polls, former left-wing president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva could easily defeat Bolzano in next year’s presidential election if a referendum is held today.