Brazil’s Lower House’s President Rodrigo Maia arrives for a meeting with Brazil’s President-elect Jair Bolsonaro (not pictured) in Brasilia, Brazil November 14 , 2018. REUTERS/Adriano Machado
SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Brazil’s lower house of Congress reelected on Friday by a vast majority Rodrigo Maia, from the Democratas party, for a new two-year term as president of the chamber.
Maia had the support of Brazil’s newly elected President Jair Bolsonaro and has pledged to work with the new administration to pass key reforms seen as crucial for the country to balance its budget, such as the pension reform.
Maia obtained 334 of 513 available votes. His nearest competitor, Fabio Ramalho from MDB party, received 66 votes.
“The reforms are not simple, but they are necessary,” Maia said in a speech before the vote.
The command of both houses of Congress is key for Bolsonaro and his team to advance with plans to change not only the pension system, but other legislations including tax for corporations and a plan to privatize a large number of state-owned companies.
Brazil’s Senate is also expected to elect a new head on Friday, but the current government is divided about who would be the best name and discussions were still going on in the session in Brasília.
Reporting by Marcelo Teixeira; Editing by Leslie Adler