AS/COA Online - Brazilian Corruption Crackdown Causes More Ministerial Shakeups

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff may be learning that fighting crime doesn’t come easy. Her efforts to root out political corruption have caused a string of cabinet shakeups. This week brought more woes, with Agriculture Minister Wagner Rossi becoming the third of Rousseff’s ministers to step down amid corruption allegations and the fourth to leave his post since Rousseff took office just over seven months ago. Despite her attempts to cut unnecessary spending and select senior officials based on merit rather than political connections, she has seen public approval fall six points since March to 67 percent. That figure would undoubtedly make many heads of state around the world jealous, but disapproval also doubled to 25 percent while the approval rating for her government slipped from 56 to 48 percent. Moreover, Rousseff’s corruption crackdown is sparking a rebellion in the coalition that includes her Worker’s Party (PT), which could lead to legislative roadblocks. As The Economist put it: “Brazil’s president may find that the price of trying to clean up politics involves forgoing reforms the country needs.”

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