Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff announced changes in her Cabinet on Thursday with an eye on the October elections in which some of her current ministers will run for Congress and regional government posts.
Presidential chief of staff Gleisi Hoffmann and Health Minister Alexandre Padilha are stepping down effective next Monday, Rousseff's press office said.
Replacing Hoffman, the press office added, "the president named the education minister, Aloizio Mercadante," while the new health minister will be physician Arthur Chioro.
The current deputy minister, Jose Henrique Paim Fernandes, will take charge of the Education Ministry.
Mercadante is one of the ministers closest to Rousseff.
On Dec. 18, Rousseff had announced that she would revamp her Cabinet between January and March 2014 to replace the ministers who are intending to run in the legislative and regional elections.
Brazilian election law requires a sitting official who aspires to an elective post to step down six months ahead of the balloting.
Hoffmann wants to be governor of the southern state of Parana, while Padilha was proposed by former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva as the governing Workers Party gubernatorial candidate in Sao Paulo, Brazil's wealthiest and most populous state. EFE