Brazilians Welcome Cabinet Resignations
SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
BRAZILIAN congressmen, state governors, and political analysts have welcomed the resignation of President Fernando Collor de Mello's Cabinet following charges of government corruption. They say it reflects the growing maturity of the Brazilian democracy.
"If you improve the image of the government in the face of public opinion, you increase the willingness of the political elite [in Congress] to support the government," says Walder de Goes, a political scientist at the University of Brasilia.
Almost immediately following the resignations March 30, President Collor asked six ministers and the chief of the armed forces to remain in their posts.
Local and international bankers and business people expressed relief that Economy Minister Marcilio Marques Moreira will stay on. "The [policy] infrastructure of the nation is intact," says Mario Amato, president of the Sao Paulo State Industrial Federation. "I'm not worried."
The Cabinet changes followed Collor's decision last week to remove Environment Secretary Jose Lutzenberger from his job. Education Minister Jose Goldemberg, who will stay on in his post, had taken on Mr. Lutzenberger's duties.
Many decisions about the Cabinet members remain to be made. But officials have announced that Supreme Court justice Celio Borja will replace Justice Minister Jarbas Passarinho, the target of a series of media accusations that he did not fully investigate corruption charges. The most serious of these concerned former Labor Minister Antonio Rogerio Magri, who admitted taking a $30,000 bribe in a conversation taped by a subordinate.
Only the military ministers have remained unchanged since Collor's term began in March 1990.