Retired Supreme Federal Court (STF) minister Ricardo Lewandowski will take over the Ministry of Justice and Public Security in the Lula (PT) government. Lewandowski, 75, will replace Flávio Dino, who leaves the ministry to take up a seat in the Supreme Court.
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Lewandowski left the STF in April 2023, upon turning 75, which is the maximum age for Court ministers. He was replaced at the time by Lula’s lawyer, Cristiano Zanin. The jurist was appointed to the Supreme Court by Lula himself, in 2006. He headed the Court from 2014 to 2016. He was always seen as someone who faced public opinion at key moments for the PT governments in the STF. During the 17 years in which he held a seat in the Supreme Court, Lewandowski decided in favor of President Lula’s allies in episodes of party crisis, such as the “Mensalão” and Car Wash Operation (Operação Lava Jato).
For example, he allowed a separate vote on Dilma’s loss of office and her disqualification from holding public office for eight years. Furthermore, he voted to acquit former minister José Dirceu and former PT president José Genoino, but his vote was unsuccessful. Furthermore, he authorized Lula’s defense to access leaked messages from members of the Federal Public Ministry’s task force. This material began the downfall of the operation.
Despite his close relationship with the Workers’ Party (PT), he is seen as a moderate progressive, with good circulation even among supporters of Bolsonaro opposition members. Outside the Judiciary, the retired minister maintained a close relationship with the government and with Lula, with whom he is friends. He was part of the government delegation that traveled to the United Arab Emirates for COP-28.
Lewandowski appears as a consensus choice, to end the disputes on the left surrounding the succession of Dino, a member of the Brazilian Socialist Party (PSB), an important government ally. The party was a fundamental mechanism for Alckmin, a traditionally right-wing politician, to join Lula’s reelection campaign, providing the then-candidate with a better image for voters positioned more in the center and even some in the right of the political spectrum. The move was also important for Lula to be accepted by the industry and the financial market, even though Bolsonaro remained their favorite option.
According to allies, the direct consequence of Lewandowski’s appointment is the PSB’s loss of space, while posts linked to the PT must be preserved.
Still, even with Dino’s departure, the PSB will have two ministries: of Entrepreneurship, Microenterprise, and Small Business, with Márcio França; and Development, Industry, Commerce, and Services, with Vice-president Geraldo Alckmin.
Source: O Globo