Brazil president-elect names army reserve general as defense minister


Brazil's rightist president-elect said Tuesday that he has selected an army reserve general to be his defense minister.

Jair Bolsonaro made his announcement on Twitter shortly after landing in Brasilia, where he is scheduled to meet over the next two days with his future Cabinet members and legislative and judicial branch authorities.

"Good morning! I want you all to know I've nominated army Gen. Fernando Azevedo e Silva for the post of defense minister," the president-elect, who takes office on Jan. 1, wrote.

Bolsonaro's decision puts a retired four-star general (the country's highest army rank) at the head of the Defense Ministry, which is currently led by Gen. Joaquim Silva e Luna.

Azevedo e Silva, who retired earlier this year, currently advises the chief justice of the Brazilian Supreme Court, Jose Antonio Dias Toffoli.

The president-elect, who in the past has praised the country's 1964-1985 dictatorship, also had considered Gen. Augusto Heleno Ribeiro for that position.

But he preferred instead to make Heleno head of the Institutional Security Cabinet, an executive office that monitors risks to institutional stability and advises the president on military and security issues.

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