August 11, 2009
Brazil's environment minister Carlos Minc will step down in March to run for deputy in the Rio de Janeiro state legislature in general elections next October, reports Reuters.
Brazilian law requires a public official seeking office to step down six months before an election.
Minc has publicly clashed with development interests over environmental laws in the Amazon rainforest. Since taking over the position vacated by former rubber tapper Marina Silva in May 2008, Minc has pushed for stricter environmental rules, called in federal troops and police to crack down on illegal forest clearing, and fought infrastructure projects that would promote deforestation in the region. Minc's efforts have made him powerful enemies who have worked to undermine his policies.
Reuters reports that ministers who leave their posts toward the end of the government's four-year term "are typically replaced by career civil servants." President Lula leaves office next year.
Brazil environment minister to step down in March