Brazil’s Bolsonaro does not rule out retaining central bank chief Goldfajn
(Adds protests against Bolsonaro)
By Rodrigo Viga Gaier and Carolina Mandl
SAO PAULO, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Brazil's presidential
front-runner Jair Bolsonaro said on Saturday he does not rule
out keeping acclaimed central bank chief Ilan Goldfajn in the
job, on a day that thousands took to the streets of major cities
to protest against the far-right candidate.
"I am not sure if he will be kept but what is working should
be kept," Bolsonaro told journalists in Rio when asked about
At the helm of the central bank since June 2016, Goldfajn
has kept a tight lid on inflation and was considered the best
central banker by The Banker magazine for taming inflation in
Latin America's largest economy.
Goldfajn is preparing to step down by the end of the year,
Bloomberg reported on Thursday.
As the Brazilian central bank does not have full
institutional independence, incoming presidents typically
replace its top official, creating political risk for monetary
policy. President Michel Temer will leave office on Jan. 1.
Bolsonaro also said on Saturday that he intends to tap
astronaut Marcos Pontes as science and technology minister in
his eventual government. The candidate had already announced
part of his potential cabinet, including banker Paulo Guedes as
economy minister, retired Army general Augusto Heleno Pereira as
defense minister and Congressman Onyx Lorenzoni as his chief of
Bolsonaro, a polarizing candidate who has been charged with
hate speech for his comments regarding gays, blacks and women,
faced a second wave of women-led protests in a month on
A Facebook group called Women United Against Bolsonaro
invited protesters to gather in 26 Brazilian cities, including
Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo. Other movements also organized
protests against Bolsonaro.
In the most polarizing election in a generation, Bolsonaro's
opponent in the Oct. 28 runoff is leftist candidate and former
Sao Paulo Mayor Fernando Haddad.
According to a recent survey by pollster Datafolha,
Bolsonaro was expected to win 59 percent of votes, compared to
Haddad's 41 percent.
Bolsonaro has successfully pitched himself as the
anti-establishment candidate, gaining voters fed up with
political graft and violent crime.
The far-right candidate nearly died from a stab wound at a
rally in early September and skipped debates and most campaign
events after spending weeks in the hospital.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier in Rio de Janeiro
Writing by Carolina Mandl
Editing by Alistair Bell and Bill Trott)
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