Brazil's President-elect Dilma Rousseff appointed well-known names from her ruling Workers' Party to her cabinet on Friday in a further sign of policy continuity when she takes office on Jan. 1.
Wall Street favorite Antonio Palocci is to become chief of staff, a position Rousseff herself held under outgoing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, according to a statement issued by her office. In that position he is able to influence key government legislative proposals and public works projects, potentially helping to shape the country's business climate.
Palocci, who was finance minister from 2003 to 2006, was the main author of the austere budget policies that marked Lula's first term.
A mild-mannered former physician, Palocci's political skills will also help Rousseff, who has never held elected office before, deal with a large and cumbersome alliance of at least 10 political parties.
Rousseff will fall back on another close Lula aide, cabinet chief Gilberto Carvalho, to take the post of secretary-general of the presidency, which deals with grass-roots movements and prepares the president's speeches and travels.
Jose Eduardo Cardozo, a lawyer and legislator of Rousseff's Workers' Party who played a key role during Rousseff's campaign, will become Justice Minister. In that capacity he will deal with public security issues and oversee the federal police in its fight against drug-trafficking and corruption.
Rousseff, who was elected with an ample majority on Oct. 31, last month appointed a market-friendly economic team that surprised investors by promising deep budget cuts.
Finance Minister Guido Mantega, who will remain in office, has told Reuters that Rousseff requested a "heavy hand" on budget spending and would implement at least 20 billion reais ($11.7 billion) of cuts.