Brazil dismisses the minister of tourism as Lula solicits backing for changes

The first cabinet reshuffle under Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva occurred on Thursday as he sought to bolster the backing of a significant group of parliamentarians for his political agenda.

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Daniela Carneiro, the minister of tourism, will be replaced by Celso Sabino, a federal politician from the Uniao Brasil party. This was a demand made by the dispersed group of lawmakers known as the “Centrao,” or “Big Center,” in return for supporting Lula’s efforts in Congress.

The backing of Centrao, who are better recognized for their skill at horse trading than for their adherence to any particular ideology, is essential to advancing Lula’s legislative agenda, including the tax reform package that will be voted on on Thursday.

For the bill to pass, at least 308 votes must be cast in two rounds of voting in the plenary, and the support of the Uniao Brasil party, which has 59 federal MPs, could be crucial.