Just over 130 days out from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, it’s been announced that host nation Brazil’s Sports Minister has been removed from his post.
George Hilton, who has been in the role of Sports Minister since just last year, has been ‘pushed out of his job’ effective last Thursday, March 18th, says Presidential Chief of Staff, Jaques Wagner. Hilton entered the role amid criticism for lacking sporting experience, with Hilton himself even addressing that concern in his acceptance speech. “I may not profoundly understand sport, but I understand people, I know how to listen,” said Hilton in January 2015. (Reuters)
A Senior Official in the Sports Ministry, Ricardo Leyser, is said to be Hilton’s replacement. Leyser has been ‘responsible for coordinating the organization of Rio 2016 Olympic Games within the ministry’ and has served as the ministry’s Secretary for Professional Sport since 2009. (Reuters)
Some speculate that Hilton’s removal is associated with the fact that he left the Brazilian Republican Party (PRB) to join the Republican Party of the Social Order (RPOS).
Current Brazilian president Dilma Rousseff of the PRB, who began her 2nd term 14 months ago, is at risk of being impeached over allegations that she manipulated government accounts in order to disguise a growing national deficit.
The speaker of the lower house of Congress, Eduardo Cunha, agreed in December to open impeachment proceedings against her, but Rousseff maintains her innocence. “I have committed no irregularity. I will never resign,” she said.