Brazil’s new president vows to fight corruption

2 Jan 19

Brazil’s president has vowed to fight corruption, clamp down on crime and build a society “without discrimination or division”, in his inaugural speech this week.

Jair Bolsonaro, who was sworn in yesterday, talked about a “national pact” that could free the country of corruption, crime and economic mismanagement.

After the inauguration he said: “I invite all of Congress to join me in the mission to restore and rebuild our homeland, liberating it from corruption, crime, economic irresponsibility and ideological traps.”

He said: “Brazil will return to being a country free of ideological constrictions. I will divide power in a progressive, conscientious and responsible way.”

On the economy, the president said he would “create a new virtuous cycle to open markets” and carry out “important structural reforms” to tackle the public deficit.

The right-wing former army captain, who won the October election on the pledge to fight crime and corruption, is a strong supporter of the military regime that ruled Brazil from 1964 to 1985.

After his victory, Bolsonaro, who leads the Social Liberal Party, vowed to reform government finances, including lowering the deficit, shrinking public debts and interest rates.

In his first public comment after the win, he said: “We cannot continue flirting with socialism, communism, populism and leftist extremism…We are going to change the destiny of Brazil.”

He did not provide any further detail of what the reforms would entail but he has previously said he would slash record murder rates by reintroducing the death penalty.

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