There is no doubt that the structuring of cabinet is the soul of any successful political project, and that the fundamental points to be demanded from its members must be character and competence – necessarily in this order. Bolsonaro was successful in establishing the supporting tripod of his government in Ministers in the likes of Paulo Guedes, Sérgio Moro and General Santos Cruz – not necessarily in this order. It is understood as absolutely natural to entail movements, adjustments and corrections of course, which form part of the dynamics of management optimization.
However, it is not part of the normal rite and it scares the way the president has been dealing with the replacements of the top executives of his government. The resignations of Minister General Santos Cruz and BNDES Chairman Joaquim Levy by the president recently illustrate how a team should not be managed, whereas his role should be a model of leadership and good management skills and not as bullies, breaking chain of command (in the case of Levy, Guedes’s deputy), and with no particular reasons and no transparency, as regards General Santos Cruz. A very important part of the tripod has collapsed, at a time when greatness of character, the loyalty of the long-time friend and, above all, the nationalist spirit of the General, combined with the firm intention to rebuild Brazil, is also confronted with accusations (though unfounded) against Minister Sérgio Moro, and the difficulties of approving the reforms which undermine the spirit and expectations of the economic team. None of this has gone unnoticed, and society, opinion makers and, most importantly, investors follow this move with close attention.
In this way, a reaction from the president is expected to realign his modus operandi, so that the substitutions of the members of his team, such as that of the General, are in some way justified by transparency and respect that both authorities and society require. After all, the motivation for his decisions should highlight the need for change and what they represent for the administration’s goals. It was a brutal mistake. Let this episode serve as an example so that the president and his close advisors may be more united and aligned with the purposes and promises set during his campaign. It is necessary to get away from speculations and innuendos, perpetrated by false friends, idealizers and phony gurus, who only wear out and distort the efforts undertaken to realize the essential changes for the country. On this constant reaffirmation of intentions, unity and flight plan depends our economic recovery and job creation. Our evaluation of the first six months of the Bolsonaro administration offers countless important achievements and the net outcome seems positive, but some slips can significantly jeopardize this administration.
May mistakes be quickly recognized, and also may criteria for the revamping of his team remain always people’s character and competence.