Brazil's new President Jair Bolsonaro to take office

Geraldine Edwards
January 2, 2019

Bolsonaro took over the presidency from a center-right figure, Michel Temer, who succeeded the Workers Party Dilma Rousseff - impeached in 2016 - but made little headway with needed fiscal reforms.

In an earlier inauguration speech, the 63-year-old former paratrooper had promised to "unite the people, value the family, respect religion and our Judeo-Christian tradition, combat the ideology of gender and preserve our values".

In his inauguration speech before Brazil's Congress, Bolsonaro called for "a true national pact between society and the executive, legislative and judicial powers" to restore the lackluster economy - "without ideological bias".

Americans have had two years to assess whether Mr Trump has delivered on his promises and whether they like the reality of the "strongman" posturing.

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Thousands of passengers were stranded at seaports, airports and bus terminals as dozens of inter-island trips were cancelled. Fifty of the fatalities were reported in the Bicol region and six in the Eastern Visayas region.

Netanyahu said Bolsonaro assured him Brazil's embassy will be moved to Jerusalem.

On a day filled with pageant, he travelled from Brasilia Cathedral to Congress in an open-top vintage Rolls Royce escorted by cavalry on white horses and jogging security guards, as crowds of supporters cheered.

Supporters of the Brazilian President-elect Jair Bolsonaro, gather next to the Metropolitan Cathedral in Brasilia, on December 31, 2018, on the eve of his inauguration ceremony.

"The counter-ISIS campaign continues, our efforts to counter Iranian aggression continue and our commitment to Middle East stability and the protection of Israel continues in the same way it did before that decision was made", he said, using an English acronym for Daesh. The increased security came at the request of the incoming president, who was stabbed in the stomach during a campaign rally in September.

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But on Sunday White House counselor Kellyanne Conway called discussion of the apparent contradiction "a silly semantic argument". Democrats expect their two-pronged funding approach could put Trump and his Republican allies in a tough position.

This meeting comes after U.S. President Donald Trump agreed to slow down the U.S. exit from Syria, a decision that drew extensive criticism across the political spectrum, to span over four months. He also promised to overhaul Brazil's pension system and privatize several state-owned companies, which gave him wide support among financial players.

Netanyahu was presented with a commemorative postal stamp issued by the Brazilian state of Amazonas in celebration of the modern State of Israel's 70th anniversary.

Leftist Presidents Nicolas Maduro of Venezuela, Daniel Ortega of Nicaragua and Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba, deemed dictators by Bolsonaro, were uninvited by Bolsonaro's team after the foreign ministry sent them invitations.

One-third of his cabinet are former army officers, mostly fellow cadets at the Black Needles Military Academy, Brazil's West Point, all outspoken backers of the country's 1964-1985 military regime.

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Bolsonaro has already said he will pull his country out of a United Nations global pact on migration, and he is considering whether to keep Brazil in the Paris climate accord.

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