Brazil’s Lula appoints his justice minister to Supreme Court

Nov 27, 2023

BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Monday he will appoint his Justice Minister, Flavio Dino, to a Supreme Court seat that has been vacant since the retirement of Justice Rosa Weber in late September.

Lula also said he would nominate Paulo Gonet as the country’s new prosecutor general.

Dino, 55, is Lula’s second appointment for Brazil’s top court since he took office in January for his third non-consecutive term as president. Earlier in June, he tapped his former defense lawyer Cristiano Zanin for another Supreme Court seat.

Previously, former President Michel Temer appointed his own justice minister, Alexandre de Moraes to the court while Lula’s predecessor, Jair Bolsonaro, picked Andre Mendonca for a seat.

Dino, whose nomination will now be voted on by the Senate, has been serving in Lula’s cabinet since January.

A former federal judge, he was a congressman for the Communist Party of Brazil from 2007 to 2011 and later governed the northeastern state of Maranhao from 2015 to 2022.

He joined the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB) in 2021 and was elected to the Senate last year.

Chief Justice Luis Roberto Barroso praised Lula’s pick for the top court.

“Minister Dino was a very good federal judge … and a well-rated governor, so if this is the president’s choice, he will be most welcome at the Supreme Court,” Barroso told reporters.

Lula also said he would nominate Paulo Gonet as the country’s new prosecutor general, ending months of uncertainty since the term of Bolsonaro appointee Augusto Aras ended in September.

The 62-year-old Gonet has been working as electoral prosecutor and helped secure Bolsonaro’s conviction earlier this year in Brazil’s top electoral court for his conduct during last year’s narrow election loss to Lula, which left the former far-right president ineligible until 2030.

 

(Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; Editing by Steven Grattan, Chizu Nomiyama and Aurora Ellis)

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