Petro has already changed 45% of the cabinet in a month and a half

Petro has already changed 45% of the cabinet in a month and a half
Petro has already changed 45% of the cabinet in a month and a half

¿A SALVO? (I) After President Gustavo Petro swore in the new Ministers of the Interior, Agriculture, Transportation and Justice on Monday night, while the replacement of Catalina Velasco from the Housing portfolio and the arrival of Helga Rivas there was announced, in political circles yesterday morning there were multiple analyses about whether the shake-up in the cabinet had already ended, which with these five changes, plus those made weeks ago in the Foreign Ministry and Foreign Trade, would mean that the Government modified around 40% of the payroll. This implied, then, that it is the largest cabinet change, above those of February and April of last year.

¿SAFE? (II) Given that President Petro indicated that this adjustment in the cabinet was necessary to “correct errors” and face the second part of his mandate, and even told the new ministers that they had time to resign if they did not want to take on the great challenges that awaited them, several analysts and political observers considered that there would be no more changes in the ministerial list and, therefore, other names that had been insistently mentioned to leave the Government managed to save themselves on this occasion, despite the fact that their replacement was taken as a fact.

¿A SALVO? (III) The biggest surprise in the morning was the permanence of the Minister of Education, Aurora Vergara, who was not only claimed to have been asked for her head by Fecode, the union of public teachers, to President Petro himself, but some sectors of the Historic Pact also considered that she should leave the Executive because of the agreement reached in the first commission of the Senate to try to save the education reform project, which ended up sinking. However, at the end of the afternoon, Petro himself announced, in a laconic tweet, the departure of Vergara and that her replacement was Andrés Rojas, current head of the Special Assets Society (SAE). A surprise because the one who was rumored for Vergara’s position was the Vice Minister of Higher Education, Alejandro Álvarez Gallego.

AND THE DEPUTY MINISTERS? (IV) The new ministers are now expected to begin appointing their second-in-command. However, in political circles it is said that the Casa de Nariño has instructed that the majority of the deputy ministers will not be moved. As is known, some of them are bureaucratic and political commitments rather than a discretionary decision by the previous ministers.

¿A SALVO? (V) What will be the future of the now ex-ministers of the Interior, Transport, Agriculture, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade, Justice, Housing and Education? It is said that at least two of them will go to diplomatic posts. Two more will go to private activities, another could be nominated to the Ombudsman’s Office and one more would return to politics. These last two would be Néstor Osuna and Luis Fernando Velasco. For now it is not known what will happen to Álvaro Leyva.

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