Senate confirms appointments to regulatory agencies, courts and central bank

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On Tuesday, four Senate committees began debating 23 appointments made by President Jair Bolsonaro to regulatory agencies, federal courts and the central bank. So far, 14 names have been confirmed in their respective committees and will be put to an indoor vote on Wednesday – a step that is only a formality.

The Economic Affairs Committee has confirmed two new directors for the Central Bank, as well as two members of antitrust watchdog Cade. He also gave the green light to the appointment of João Pedro Barroso Nascimento as head of Brazil’s Securities and Exchange Commission (CVM). He is a longtime friend of Senator Flávio Bolsonaro, the president’s eldest son.

Senators will move on to nominations for agencies overseeing mining, telecommunications and transportation.

Unlike many countries, such as the United States, presidential appointments to government agencies are generally met with indifference by the Brazilian Senate – and are rarely rejected. In cases where this occurs, it is usually a retaliatory political move against the government.

One of these cases concerned the second appointment of Mr. Bolsonaro to the Supreme Court, André Mendonça. His confirmation hearing was stalled for nearly six months, part of a power move by the chairman of the Senate Constitution and Justice Committee. Eventually, Justice Mendonça was endorsed in what has been one of the most contentious Supreme Court confirmation processes in Brazil’s recent history.

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