November 21, 2017 / 11:17 PM / a year ago

Brazil names Baldy cities minister in ongoing reshuffle

SAO PAULO, Nov 21 (Reuters) - President Michel Temer confirmed the appointment of Congressman Alexandre Baldy as Brazil’s new minister of cities as part of an ongoing cabinet reshuffle, according to a statement on Tuesday.

Baldy will replace Bruno Araújo, who resigned last week claiming he no longer had support from his party, the PSDB, to stay in the government. Baldy will be sworn in on Wednesday, the statement said. He left Brazil’s Podemos party and is joining the Progressive Party, which is allied with the government.

Completion of the cabinet reshuffle is seen as important for the government to garner enough political backing for a much anticipated reform of the country’s pension system.

The speaker of Brazil’s lower house, Rodrigo Maia, said that it would not be easy to obtain the 308 votes needed to pass pension reform, but added that doing so was “fundamental and urgent” for the country.

Maia, who supported Baldy’s appointment, told a radio show earlier in the day that it was important that the government completed Brazil’s ministerial changes so it could advance in negotiations regarding pensions. (Reporting by Eduardo Simões; Writing by Ana Mano; Editing by Andrew Hay)

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