Brazil's Bolsonaro says nominating son as ambassador to U.S. is not nepotism

FILE PHOTO: Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro attends in an inauguration ceremony of the new general director of the Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN) in Brasilia, Brazil July 11, 20109. REUTERS/Adriano Machado

BRASILIA (Reuters) - Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Friday that the nomination of his son Eduardo to be ambassador to the United States was not an act of nepotism and that he would not make the appointment if it were.

“Some people say that it is nepotism, but that’s for the Supreme Court to decide. It is not nepotism, I would never do that,” Bolsonaro said on a live social media broadcast on Friday.

The initial findings of an internal legal study carried out by the president’s office showed that top-ranking appointments, like those of ambassador, do not constitute nepotism.

On Thursday, Bolsonaro confirmed that he was considering nominating his son, a federal congressman representing Rio de Janeiro, for the post. Eduardo, 35, said he would accept it if offered.

The Supreme Court barred nepotism in 2008. However, a Supreme Court panel ruled last year that this rule did not apply to political appointments.

“It’s not up to me, it’s up to my son to accept and then he will be subject to Senate approval. Who do you want me to put in? Celso Amorim?” Bolsonaro said, referring to the veteran politician who served under former presidents Itamar Franco, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff.

Eduardo Bolsonaro is the third of the president’s four sons and a daughter from three marriages and has counseled his father on foreign affairs. His appointment would need to be approved by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee before passing to the full upper house for confirmation.

Reporting by Lisandra Paraguassu, Writing by Jamie McGeever; Editing by Dan Grebler