Brazil: Lula da Silva's leftist government to have 37 ministries, 14 more than Bolsonaro's

Rui Costa, the new president's chief of staff, said that the expansion of public ministries will not lead to an increase in federal spending.

The new Brazilian government headed by Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's Workers' Party will have 37 ministries, 14 more than under previous President Jair Bolsonaro. This was confirmed on his Twitter account by the new president's Chief of Staff Rui Costa dos Santos, who said that the considerable increase will not lead to higher federal spending:

We will expand the existing 23 ministries to 37 while maintaining the same number of positions. In this way, we improve the representation of the different segments of society through the ministries without involving an increase in public spending.

This increase in the number of ministries is close to the record high of 39 ministries seen under fellow Workers' Party member Dilma Rousseff, who was president from 2011 to 2016. Jair Bolsonaro's government has 17 ministries, two secretariats of the presidency and also features four bodies with ministerial status.

Dividing ministries with "creativity"

During a conversation with the local press, Costa pointed out that Lula da Silva's intention was to break up the ministries with "creativity and innovation":

How are we going to turn 23 into 37? We use creativity and innovation. The intermediate zones will be unified and common zones for various ministries. Today, the Ministry of Economy is divided into Industry and Planning, but the intermediate area will be the same. This rationalizes spending, with the same team taking care of the middle ground.

For example, the Ministry of Economy will be divided into four separate ministries: Finance, Industry and Commerce, and Planning. The Ministry of Transportation will be split into two: Transportation as well as Airports and Ports. In addition, the Esplanada dos Ministérios in Brasília will have entirely new ministries such as Indigenous Peoples, Racial Equality and Cities.

First cabinet appointments

Lula da Silva has already announced the first few appointments to his cabinet, including Rui Costa (Civil House of the Presidency, a.k.a. chief of staff), Fernando Haddad (Finance), Flávio Dino (Justice), Múcio Monteiro (Defense), Mauro Vieira (International Relations), Margareth Menezes (Culture), and Luiz Marinho (Labor).