The moves in Argentina late Friday to replace the Cabinet chief and other ministerial appointments were based on the decision of President Alberto Fernández, his vice-president’s son said.
Fernández reshuffled his cabinet days after Vice-President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner publicly blamed him for the country’s political crisis that followed the government’s electoral defeat on September 12. Fernandez named Juan Luis Manzur as the new Cabinet chief, in line with the suggestion by the vice-president, along with several other ministers and the press secretary.
“The issue of the names and whether changes were sufficient or not, that’s decided by Alberto – that is clear,” Máximo Kirchner, who’s also a deputy for Buenos Aires Province, said in an interview with Radio del Plata.
He added that he would support the new appointees now that the political turmoil has ended. The recent elections were “complex” due to the Covid-19 crisis, he said, defending his mother, who was a former president, adding that she has always been a responsible politician.
The Cabinet changes sought to curtail a political crisis unleashed a week ago when the damaging loss in midterm primaries exposed the differences in the ruling coalition Frente de Todos.
The appointments come just a day after Cristina Fernández de Kirchner called for an overhaul of the cabinet in an open letter that blamed the president for the poor result in the midterm vote. In the letter, she said she had proposed Manzur for the cabinet chief post in a face-to-face conversation with Fernandez earlier in the week.
The vice president, who had chosen Fernández to lead their Peronist coalition for the 2019 presidential elections, called the midterm primaries a “political catastrophe” caused by his economic strategy. She criticised him for his lack of social spending, adding pressure on Fernandez even as he seeks to renegotiate a US$45-billion loan with the International Monetary Fund.
by Nicolle Yapur & Jorgelina do Rosario, Bloomberg