Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro has reaffirmed his support for his Argentine counterpart Mauricio Macri , indicating that he hopes the the Juntos por el Cambio wins re-election later this year.
The far-right leader indicated he was watching neighbouring Argentina closely, saying victory by the Frente por Todos opposition party – which includes ex-leader Cristina Fernández de Kirchner on the ticket – could ignite political friction between the two nations.
Bolsonaro, interviewed by influential local daily Clarín, said he is concerned that presidential candidate Alberto Fernández, who visited Brazil’s former leader Luiz Inácio Lula de Silva recently in jail, indicated he wants to review the Mercosur-European Union trade agreement.
While saying he does not interfere with other nation’s politics, Bolsonaro said he hopes Fernández de Kirchner, a candidate for vice-presidential, doesn’t return to power in Argentina.
“If people related to Cristina Kirchner, that are close to Lula, Dilma, etc., return to power, then I think Argentina will have serious problems,” he said.
On other issues, the president said Brazil’s flagship pension overhaul, which cleared a first vote in the lower house, will jump-start the economy and restart growth this year. After pension reform is approved, Bolsonaro expects a law on economic freedoms to facilitate business startups by cutting red tape, further strengthening the economy.
Bolsonaro reiterated his idea to appoint his son and lawmaker, Eduardo, as ambassador to the United States, saying his friendship with the sons of US President Donald Trump gives him an advantage in dealing with Washington. He denied allegations of nepotism.
The outspoken leader faces an intensifying backlash, even from his supporters, after mentioning that he is thinking of his son for the job. Lawmakers were critical, the Brazilian diplomats’ association is opposed and jokes and memes inundated social media.