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Montevideo, September 30th 2023 - 10:19 UTC



Chilean President announces cabinet reshuffle of little significance

Saturday, March 11th 2023 - 12:04 UTC
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Urrejola had to go after using foul language against Argentina's Ambassador Rafael Bielsa Urrejola had to go after using foul language against Argentina's Ambassador Rafael Bielsa

Chilean President Gabriel Boric Font Friday announced a minor cabinet reshuffle that left many questions unanswered, except for the departure of Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola, who had been involved in a scandal for using foul language against Argentina's Ambassador Rafael Bielsa which went viral and sealed her fate.

 After he failed to get his planned tax reform through Congress, Boric decided to make changes. “What motivates me to make these changes are not political pressures or minor compensations; the purpose of these changes is our capacity to respond and improve management,” said the head of state. It is the second cabinet reshuffle made by Boric after one year in office.

“It is an adjustment; it is not a structural change. It moves in the direction of building new balances in the government coalition,” political analyst Marcelo Mella told AFP. The adjustments left Boric's inner circle untouched, particularly Finance Minister Mario Marcel.

Urrejola's replacement will be the 74-year-old Alberto van Klaveren, a former Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs under Michelle Bachelet (2006-2010) and Chile's current agent before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

In Public Works, the former president of Banco Estado Jessica López will take over; the former director of Televisión Nacional de Chile, Jaime de Aguirre, will be in charge of Culture; while former professional footballer and former undersecretary Jaime Pizarro will be in charge of Sports. Lawyer Aisén Etcheverry will head the Ministry of Science.

These changes at a ministerial level “do not make a very significant difference,” Congressman Diego Schalper said.

“The government reaffirms once again that it continues without listening to the citizens and addressing urgent matters, which are not Culture, Science, Foreign Affairs, or Sports. As if there was better management and leadership in Education or Economy, which so far are a disaster,” Deputy Cristian Labbé argued.

The new announcements confirmed “that the priorities of the government are very different from the priorities of the people,” Congresswoman Sofía Cid stressed.

“For Chileans, this cabinet change changes absolutely nothing,” Senator Iván Moreira assured. “The only important change, which we knew was coming due to the difficulties that had arisen, was the Foreign Ministry.”

“We did not expect anything from this cabinet change and we were still disappointed,” Deputy Benjamín Moreno sentenced.

Categories: Politics, Chile.

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