Friday, 5 August 2011

Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff has let her Defence Minister Nelson Jobim go after he made disparaging remarks about fellow ministers. Jobim reportedly called one fellow minister a "weakling" and described others as "idiots".

Jobim is the third minister to lose his job since Rousseff's inauguration in January. He will be replaced by former foreign minister Celso Amorim. Jobim is one of several ministers who also served under Rousseff's predecessor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

It has been reported in recent weeks that Jobim has been making crude remarks about fellow ministers; he went even further at an opposition event by saying he was surrounded by "idiots".

There has also been speculation that Jobim was disgruntled with Rousseff for overruling him on a multi-billion dollar contract to buy fighter jets. He caused further controversy when he admitted in a television interview that he had voted for Rousseff's opponent Jose Serra in last year's presidential election.

Jobim is the third minister to go since Rousseff took office on 1st January. Last month, her Transport Minister Alfredo Nascimento resigned over a corruption scandal and in June her chief of staff, Antonio Palocci, stepped down in the face of questions about his rapid accumulation of personal wealth.

Sources: BBC News, Reuters, The Guardian

For more news and expert analysis about Brazil, please see Brazil Focus.

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