Brazil motion could block president's son as ambassador

FILE - In this April 19, 2019 file photo, Eduardo Bolsonaro, right, son of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro, poses for a photo with Deputy Prime Minister Matteo Salvini at the consulate in Milan, Italy. Federal prosecutors in Brazil filed a motion Monday, Aug. 12, 2019, that could block Bolsonaro’s son from becoming ambassador to Washington.

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Federal prosecutors in Brazil filed a motion Monday that could block President Jair Bolsonaro's son, Eduardo, from becoming ambassador to Washington.

The public prosecutor's office in the capital of Brasilia asked a regional federal court to issue a ruling that says ambassadors must have at least three years of diplomatic experience.

The younger Bolsonaro has no such experience, but heads the foreign relations commission in the lower house of Congress, where he serves as a representative.

President Jair Bolsonaro is considering nominating his 35-year-old son to be U.S. ambassador, and the U.S. government has signaled its approval. The nomination must now be put up for a vote in the Senate.

Prosecutors have argued that ambassadorial qualifications are not clearly defined by current law and have suggested introducing criteria such as "recognized merit in diplomatic services."

Last week, the Cidadania political party filed a separate motion with the nation's top court seeking to stop the nomination from advancing to the Senate floor. The motion said that Eduardo Bolsonaro was not "qualified" for the position in comparison to former ambassadors to the U.S., and his appointment was unconstitutional and an "evident" case of nepotism.

Several top officials have come out to defend the president's choice, including Vice President Hamilton Mourao, who said last month he believed Eduardo Bolsonaro met the country's legal requirements for the job.

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