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ARGENTINA | 22-11-2023 22:51

Who will be in Javier Milei’s Cabinet? The ministers and secretaries confirmed so far

The libertarian government will have eight ministries, with Human Capital and Infrastructure the new innovations. Many previous ministries will become secretariats. A look at the confirmed and possible names in the next Cabinet.

Javier Milei’s government will have a Cabinet of eight ministries, according to the president-elect: Defence, Justice, Economy, Human Capital, Foreign Relations, Infrastructure, Security, Interior. It’s a major restructuring and shift from the 19 portfolios of President Alberto Fernández’s government.

Some of those ministries will become secretariats. These include Social Development, Health, Labour and Education, all merged into the brand-new Human Capital Ministry. Others could simply cease to exist like Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, Culture, Territorial Development and Habitat (Housing), Women, Gender and Diversity, Tourism and Sports and Transport.

 

Confirmed and in contention

Nicolás Posse, a leader very close to Milei and his colleague during his Grupo Eurnekian years, who currently heads the La Libertad Avanza technical teams, has been confirmed as the Cabinet Chief to coordinate all the ministries.

Among the most recent announcements is the veteran criminal lawyer Mariano Cúneo Libarona, 62, and with a high television profile like Milei, will be the future Justice minister.

Defeated Buenos Aires Province gubernatorial candidate Carolina Píparo was confirmed last Monday as the future head of ANSES social security administration, in charge of pensions and welfare benefits. 

On the same day Milei announced that vice-president-elect Victoria Villarruel would not only head the Senate but would also define the Security and Defence ministers, an idea he has repeatedly floated in recent weeks. The lawyer and lawmaker explained outside the libertarian bunker on Monday afternoon that she would not be heading either portfolio. These ministries could end up being headed by PRO politicians with negotiations reportedly underway between the president-elect and his backer, former president Mauricio Macri.

PRO chair Patricia Bullrich has ruled out a return to the Security Ministry ahead of any offer, although she does not reject the idea of a role in Milei’s government outright. PRO deputy Cristian Ritondo might head the portfolio instead.

Milei’s key advisor Guillermo Francos will head the Interior Ministry. Starting under the military presidencies between 1970 and 1973, the veteran politician worked closely with Carlos Menem in the 1990s and was a co-founder of the party Acción por la República, together with Domingo Cavallo. Quitting active politics in late 2000 pleading "moral fatigue," he dedicated himself to private-sector management in the Grupo Eurnekian. Between 2007 and 2011 he was the President of BAPRO (Banco Provincia de Buenos Aires) under Peronist governor Daniel Scioli while President Alberto Fernández appointed him Argentina’s representative to the Inter-American Development Bank (BID in its Spanish acronym).

Milei’s team will also include Sandra Petovello, 55, as the minister of Human Capital, a new portfolio unifying Social Development, Labour, Health and Education, which now become secretariats. A family science graduate from the Universidad Austral and UCEDE vice-president, she was elected a deputy for Buenos Aires City last month behind Diana Mondino and Oscar Zago but will relinquish her seat. She will head a key ministry in charge of sensitive issues, such as social plans, among others.

Infrastructure Minister will be Guillermo Ferraro, another with a business background as an executive in the banking and financial services sector in enterprises like KPMG consultants, Banco Suquía, Banco Bisel and Nación Servicios.

The closest thing to an Economy minister so far (with former Central Bank governor Federico Sturzenegger, another ex-Macri official, insistently tipped) is Emilio Ocampo, Milei’s favourite visionary of dollarisation. He will head the Central Bank, originally with the mission of winding it up, although this idea has been recently diluted by Milei in interviews.

Deputy-elect and economist Diana Mondino should be the new Foreign minister (although yet to be finally confirmed) with Gustavo Morón as Milei’s man for the world of Labour. 

Martín Krause in line to be Education secretary while the names of Florencio Randazzo, Luis ‘Toto’ Caputo and Javier Iguacel were all named by Milei on Monday as “part of the team.”

 

Key posts (confirmed to date)

  • Cabinet chief: Nicolás Posse
  • Justice Minister: Mariano Cúneo Libarona
  • Infrastructure Minister: Guillermo Ferraro
  • Interior Minister: Guillermo Francos
  • Human Capital Minister: Sandra Pettovello
  • Culture Secretary: Leonardo Cifelli
  • Labour Secretary: Gustavo Morón
  • Health Secretary: Eduardo Filgueira Lima
  • Energy Secretary: Eduardo Rodríguez Chirillo
  • ANSES: Carolina Píparo
  • Central Bank: Emilio Ocampo
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