SAO PAULO: Brazilian president-elect Jair Bolsonaro has revisited his most contentious campaign promises, calling for looser gun laws, urging a high-profile anti-corruption judge to join his government and promising to cut government advertising for media that “lie.”
In interviews with TV stations and on social media, Bolsonaro, a 63-year-old former Army captain, who won 55 per cent of Sunday’s vote and will be sworn in on January 1, made clear he would not waste time in pushing through his conservative agenda.
Bolsonaro, who ran on a law-and-order platform, said he wants Sergio Moro, the judge who has overseen the sprawling “Car Wash” corruption trials and convicted former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of graft, to join his government as justice minister.
Barring that, he said he would nominate him to the Supreme Court.
Late on Monday, Bolsonaro said in an interview with Globo TV that he would cut government advertising funds that flow to any “lying” media outlets.
During his campaign, the right-winger imitated US President Donald Trump’s strategy of aggressively confronting the media. In particular, he took aim at Globo TV and especially Brazil’s biggest newspaper, the Folha de S Paulo.
“I am totally in favour of freedom of the press,” Bolsonaro told Globo TV. “But if it’s up to me, press that shamelessly lies will not have any government support.”
Bolsonaro was referring to the hundreds of millions of reais the Brazilian government spends in advertising each year in local media outlets, mainly for promotions of state-run firms.
The UOL news portal, owned by the Grupo Folha, which also controls the Folha de S Paulo newspaper, used Brazil’s freedom of information act as the basis for a 2015 article that showed Globo received 565 million reais in federal government spending in 2014. Folha got 14.6 million reais that year.