April 24 (UPI) -- Brazilian Justice Minister Sergio Moro resigned Friday after disagreeing with President Jair Bolsonaro over his firing of the head of the country's federal police.
The clash between Moro and Jair, both popular far-right figures, could cause political turmoil in the South American country as it attempts to stem the spread of the coronavirus. The pandemic has sickened more than 52,000 people and killed at least 3,600 people in Brazil, according to Johns Hopkins University.
In his resignation speech, Moro said he attempted to persuade Jair not to force the resignation of federal police chief Mauricio Valeixo.
"I have to protect my biography and above all the commitment I took on ... that we would stand firm against corruption, organized crime and violent crime," Moro said.
Shortly after the former justice minister's announcement, critics pounded pots and pans and shouted from their windows and balconies: "Bolsonaro out! Bolsonaro out!"
The clash comes one week after Bolsonaro fired Health Minister Luiz Henrique Mandetta after the two disagreed on how best to combat the spread of COVID-19. Bolsonaro has faced criticism for downplaying the pandemic despite overwhelmed healthcare facilities.