Argentina’s Fernandez reshuffles Cupboard after disaster week | Politics Information
The President appoints the provincial governor of Tucuman, Juan Manzur, as head of cabinet, replacing Santiago Cafiero, who has been appointed foreign minister.
Argentine President Alberto Fernandez reshuffled his cabinet to put an end to a bloody week in which power struggles within the ruling Peronist Judicialist Party threatened to derail the governing coalition.
The reshuffle on late Friday evening after a tug-of-war between more moderate and other factions within the government appointed new ministers in the key roles of head of cabinet, foreign minister and agriculture minister.
The center-left Fernandez has been fighting a cabinet revolt by ministers allied with his party’s left wing since a sharp defeat in last Sunday’s midterm elections threatened the government’s hold in Congress.
The divided but powerful Vice President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner had criticized her alleged mistakes of the government and heightened tensions between the moderate faction around President Fernandez and the former president’s own supporters.
In a statement late Friday, the president’s office said regional governor Juan Manzur would take over as head of cabinet, replacing Santiago Cafiero, who will become foreign minister.
Julian Dominguez has been appointed head of the agricultural portfolio. Argentina is the world’s leading exporter of processed soybean meal and soybean oil and a major global supplier of corn, wheat, barley and beef.
No mention was made of changes in the Ministry of Economic Affairs, led by moderate economist Martin Guzman, who played a key role in the country’s recent debt restructuring and talks with the International Monetary Fund.
There have also been changes in the ministries for security, education, science and technology, as well as the appointment of a new press officer.
The government announced that the new ministers will be sworn in on Monday in the presidential palace, Casa Rosada.
The election blow had left the party between two avenues: deepening populist politics to ease conditions for hard-hit Argentines, or a more moderate approach to win back middle-class voters who supported the conservative opposition.
On Wednesday, several ministers, including Interior Minister Fernandez, submitted their resignation.
The center-left Fernandez has been fighting a cabinet revolt by ministers allied with his party’s left wing since a sharp defeat in last Sunday’s midterm elections threatened the government’s hold in Congress [File: Agustin Marcarian/Reuters]
On Thursday evening, the President and Fernandez de Kirchner both went on the offensive. In a public letter she called for ministries to be redesigned and rammed a lack of public spending.
“I sincerely trust that with the same strength and conviction that the president will not only revitalize his government but also sit with his economy minister to look at the budget figures,” she wrote.
The president said on Twitter that he would be the one to decide the future of the government.
“The administration of the government will develop as I see fit. That’s what I was chosen for, ”he said