Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced a major government reshuffle Friday, axing eight ministries in a cost-cutting measure that analysts say also aims to protect the embattled leader from impeachment threats.

At a time of recession, a massive corruption scandal and political instability, Rousseff said the shake-up would help “Brazil get out of the crisis more quickly.”

The reshuffle aims “to guarantee the political stability of the country which is needed to renew growth and strengthen relations between the parties and members of parliament who support the government,” Rousseff, 67, said in the capital Brasilia.

Today we are making a first and major step toward the reorganization of the federal public administration. We are beginning by reducing eight ministries,” she said.

The big winner in the reshuffle was the center-right PMDB which is Rousseff’s most powerful, but not always reliable, partner in the ruling coalition with her leftist Worker’s Party. Analysts said that Rousseff boosted the PMDB’s ministerial portfolio in hopes of buying support for her attempts at economic reform and to ward off moves to launch impeachment proceedings.


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