Cabinet changes: what does this mean for the second half of the government?

Cabinet changes: what does this mean for the second half of the government?
Cabinet changes: what does this mean for the second half of the government?

Hora20 analyzes the latest events that involve deep political changes with the arrival of new figures to the presidential cabinet. Analysis of the causes of the changes, the purpose of the new faces and what these modifications mean in view of the start of the second term of the Petro government.

What the panelists say

Paca Zuleta, lawyer, director of the School of Government at the University of the Andes, He said that it is surprising to talk about a shake-up in this change of ministers, “that was what happened in 2023, now we see a cabinet change planned and announced by the Government, but it does not feel like a shake-up.” He stressed that Minister Velasco was not comfortable with the idea of ​​a Constituent Assembly, “he said that it was necessary to concentrate on reforms” and stressed that if someone wants to make a political transformation, it is in the Peace Agreement, “I think Velasco’s view makes sense, but not calling for constituent power.”

Regarding the other changes, he said that Constanza García is an expert on infrastructure issues, “she was in charge of Invías, she knows the President and she knows the subject. Martha Carvajalino is an impeccable person to implement the Comprehensive Rural Reform.”

Andrés Caro, lawyer, writer, PhD candidate in law at Yale University and columnist at La Silla Vacíacommented that the options were not thought to be so good, “we thought it would be a more radical cabinet, activists or people recommended by former members of the M-19. It is a good surprise.” He said that Juan Fernando Cristo is a politician and he is doing politics with his appointment and says that, if there will be a constituent assembly, it will be through institutional means, “it is better that they follow that path than when they talked about a constituent assembly by decree. The balance is more positive than negative.” Regarding the role that Cristo will play, he said that he will arrive with the role of prime minister and to organize many things, “in that sense, he may clash with people who do want reforms no matter what. To take on this challenge and with today’s speech, courage is required.”

He also said that he sees this appointment as a message of political peace and not a goal from Petro. “Cristo is going to promise political peace, order and assume a role of controlling Petro, although I don’t think it will be successful, but it is Cristo’s offer of value.”

For Maria Alejandra Villamizar, journalist and columnist at El Espectador, lGovernments have times and this government has been an experience in understanding what terrain this left-wing identity of the President was taking us to, “After two years, it is said that the President is campaigning and that, if that continues, he has to demonstrate efficiency and the government’s management can be solved if the Minister of Transport advances the connectivity agenda or if the Minister of Justice achieves a reform”, with which, he believes that if Minister Cristo represents something, it is that perhaps from today the tension of polarization can be lowered, “lowering that tension is complying with the Peace Agreement and trying to ensure that Colombia has a roadmap, which is set out in that agreement”. He also believes that Cristo may come to represent the beginning of a true agreement with other political currents.

On the subject of the constituent assembly, he said that it is possible that this issue will create controversy over its necessity, “generating the changes that he proposed was not going to be a bed of roses. His government can leave two or three things that have a horizon,” in relation to which, he stated that if on this subject of the constituent assembly a national agreement is reached where all political currents are involved and priority issues are established, “well, that is what Petro leaves,” he stated.

Gabriel Cifuentes, lawyer, university professor, consultant and former Secretary of Transparency of the Presidency of the Republicrecalled that the shake-up is not over, “this is happening drop by drop and names are missing. There are two years of government left and two more legislatures that will be difficult to get projects out; then it is time to think about what kind of cabinet he will have.” He commented that he is not bringing the Santos style, but he does reassure moderates and sectors close to the peace process, “he will have to maintain precarious majorities in Congress and not burn bridges with the parties,” he said about the role he will play in the Legislature.

On the subject of the constituent assembly, he said that it got out of control, “there is no responsibility regarding the scope and the political debate was reduced to these abstract figures and it falls apart. The only process is the one in the Constitution. They are going to try to turn these narratives and this idea of ​​turning the 2026 election into a constituent process of some kind.” Finally, he said that President Petro raised the need for the new Minister of the Interior to advance in the constituent process, “Cristo can only dodge bullets and speak of the other government, of calling for spaces for discussion and he had to navigate in a sea of ​​ambiguities and a narrative that got out of control.”

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