An often-mentioned fact about the presidency of Jair Bolsonaro is that by the end of his first term, he will have had the right to appoint at least two justices to Brazil’s Supreme Court. Members of the highest tribunal in the land retire automatically upon turning 75, which is the case of Justice Celso de Mello, this year, and Marco Aurélio de Mello, in 2021. With two of “his justices” on the bench, Mr. Bolsonaro will have more power to shape the Brazilian justice system to his liking. However, another less-mentioned perk of being president is the power to appoint the board members of the country’s regulatory agencies.
Seen as the “fourth level” of governance in Brazil, the decisions of regulatory agencies can have a huge impact on the daily lives of the population, establishing rules and standards in a number of key sectors. As these agencies are nominally under the umbrella of the Executive branch, whenever a vacancy arises, the president gets to fill it.