Tuesday, February 20

The leftist Chilean president chooses a finance minister with business taste for his cabinet

Correspondent in Santiago de Chile



“Let’s think outside the box” was the phrase used by the president-elect Gabriel Boric when repeatedly asked about his cabinet. Today, the Frente Amplio deputy surprised by delivering a transversal list of ministers that goes beyond the borders of his own Pact I Approve Dignity and in which the Communist Party does not have a hegemonic presence.

The team of 24 Secretaries of State, of which fourteen are women, maintained its axis in the ruling coalition, although it incorporated, in sectoral portfolios, militants from ex-Concertación parties such as Socialista, Por la Democracia and Radical, and did not consider anyone from the Christian Democracy.

The biggest novelty is in the appointment of the current president of the Central Bank, the economist Mario Marcel, as the future Minister of Finance, a fact that was well received by the business world –the Santiago Stock Exchange rose at the close of this note- and the ruling party.

His nomination, in any case, does not ensure tranquility for the financial market because the FA was a strong detractor of Marcel when, from the head of the issuing entity, he rejected the successive pension savings withdrawals that Congress approved.

The political team was made up of the three closest advisers to the president-elect: the independent doctor Izkia Siches as the first female Minister of the Interior (chief of staff), the deputy of the Democratic Revolution, RD, Giorgio Jackson as secretary of the Presidency and the communist deputy Camila Vallejo as spokesperson from the General Secretariat of Government.

When presenting his cabinet, Gabriel Boric entrusted them with the main tasks lay the foundations for the major reforms contained in the government program, ensure the success of the Constitutional Convention that drafts the new Magna Carta and continue the fight against the pandemic.

Independent professionals

Boric managed to circumvent the inexperience and youth of the FA by calling the Government on prominent independent professionals such as climatologist Maisa Rojas (Environment), editor of the IPCC report for the COP 2021 summit, UNDP researcher Marcela Ríos (Justice and Human Rights ) and the international transport expert Juan Carlos Muñoz (Transport and Telecommunications).

In addition, he gave a signal to the Chavista socialisms of the continent by appointing as chancellor the militant socialist Antonia Urrejola who, as a member of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, who supported the pronouncements against Nicaragua and Venezuela.

With an average age of 49, the cabinet comprises five militants from the party of the president-elect Social Convergence, three from the PC (spokesperson, Work and Science), two from the DR and three from the PS, including the deputy and granddaughter of Salvador Allende, Maya Fernández, who will assume in Defense and Senator Carlos Montes in Housing.

Some analysts, such as Daniel Mansuy, pointed out that this team was “neither refoundational nor disruptive” as predicted. Likewise, they pointed out that the appointment of ex-concertacionistas to positions outside the political team does not imply that the FA has added new members to the ruling coalition.

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