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  HOME | Brazil (Click here for more)

Brazilís Lower House Re-Elects Maia as President While Senate Defers Vote

BRASILIA Ė Brazilís lower house re-elected conservative Rodrigo Maia on Friday as president of the chamber, while the Senate postponed the selection of its leader by a day.

Maia received 334 votes out of a total of 513 to continue in the post he has occupied since 2016.

However, the government of the far-right President Jair Bolsonaro, who was sworn-in on Jan. 1, faced stiffer opposition in the Senate when it came to choosing its leader.

Bolsonaro needs the support of both chambers of Congress to push through plans to reform the pension system and introduce corporate tax legislation and privatize state-owned companies.

The Senate was due to elect a new president but delayed the vote by a day due to a dispute over the voting process, when the current holder of the position, David Alcolumbre, refused to step down.

He tried to hold an open vote instead of the traditional secret one, which would shield legislators from a possible public backlash if they elected veteran lawmaker Renan Calheiros, who has been widely accused of corruption, leading to the dispute and the election being postponed until Saturday.

The mood in the Lower House was very different, as Maia was re-elected without opposition.

Maia is a member of the conservative Democrats party, which controls a majority in both houses along with the Workersí Party, the Brazilian Democratic Movement and the Brazilian Social Democracy Party, although he did not openly back the current president in the elections in October last year.

The 48-year-old, who is in his sixth consecutive term, had contemplated running for president but failed to receive the support of his party, which backed the social-democrat Geraldo Alckmin in the first round and decided to join Bolsonaro in the second.

Although Maia did not support that decision, in recent months he has pledged to work with Bolsonaroís administration.

One of the key reasons for this is the governmentís decision to promote the pension plan, which Maia strongly backs.

 

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