Bolsonaro ally Lira elected speaker of Brazil lower house

Brazilian Deputy Arthur Lira gestures during a session to elect the new Brazil's Lower House president in the plenary of the House of Representatives in Brasilia Brazil

Congressman Arthur Lira, an ally of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, was elected speaker of the lower house of Congress for two years on Monday, strengthening the standing of the country’s right-wing leader.

The chamber voted overwhelmingly 302-145 for Lira, whose rival advocated independence from the Bolsonaro administration. Lira is expected to help the government push through its economic reform agenda aimed at reducing a budget deficit that has soared during the coronavirus pandemic.

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