Brazil’s defence minister quits

August 5th, 2011 - 2:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Rio De Janeiro, Aug 5 (IANS) Brazil’s Defence Minister Nelson Jobim has stepped down and will be replaced by former foreign minister Celso Amorim, the president’s office said.

Jobim resigned after he was quoted in a magazine as saying that the Minister of Institutional Relations, Ideli Salvatti, lacked power, and that cabinet chief Gleisi Hoffmann “doesn’t even know” the capital Brasilia, Xinhua reported.

He also said in an interview that he voted for opposition candidate Jose Serra in last year’s presidential election, but argued that President Dilma Rousseff had known it and that his voting for other candidate did not affect his relationship with her.

A member of the centrist Democratic Movement Party, Jobim was named in 2007 to lead the defence ministry. He was justice minister from 1995 to 1997 under president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, and later joined the Supreme Court, rising to the position of chief justice in 2004.

Jobim is the third minister to leave his job since Rousseff became president in January.

In June, powerful cabinet chief Antonio Palocci resigned after being charged with accumulating wealth by illicit means. Transportation minister Alfredo Nascimento quit over corruption charges.

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