(Corrects to state Brizola Neto's party as PDT, not PT)
BRASILIA, March 15 Brazilian President Dilma
Rousseff appointed new ministers for agriculture, civil aviation
and labor on Friday, the presidential office said, in a Cabinet
shuffle that left her economic team intact.
Congressman Antonio Andrade from Minas Gerais state was
named agriculture minister, replacing Mendes Ribeiro, who is
recovering from brain tumor surgery. Both men belong to the
PMDB, Brazil's largest political party and Rousseff's main ally
in her unwieldy 17-party governing coalition.
Moreira Franco, until now secretary of strategic affairs,
was moved to the civil aviation portfolio, replacing Wagner
That switch came after criticism of last year's auction of
private concessions to run three major airports, including the
country's largest in Sao Paulo, which drew smaller and less
experienced consortia than the government had hoped for.
Manoel Dias, the secretary general of the PDT party, a minor
coalition partner and the party where Rousseff began her
political career, will move to the Labor Ministry, replacing
Brizola Neto from the same party.
Despite her government's failure to restore solid growth to
Brazil's once-booming economy, which grew by a disappointing 0.9
percent last year, Rousseff did not make changes to the economic
team headed by Finance Minister Guido Mantega.
Other Cabinet changes are in the works, and Rousseff is
expected to name an ally to the newly created ministry of small
and micro businesses.
Rousseff, whose approval rating is in the high 70s, plans to
run for re-election in 2014 and Cabinet appointments provide an
opportunity to appease coalition allies jostling for government
(Reporting by Jeferson Ribeiro; Writing by Anthony Boadle;
Editing by Peter Murphy and David Brunnstrom)