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Peña Nieto unveils experienced cabinet

December 8, 2012

Dismissing any notion that he represents a “new” Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI), President Enrique Peña Nieto named an experienced cabinet of 25 men but just three women, with an average age of 63 years, at his inauguration on Saturday.

Loyal to those around him, Peña Nieto appointed a number of allies from the State of Mexico, which he governed from 2005 to 2011.

Transition team leader and former Hidalgo governor Miguel Osorio Chong takes the most senior position in the cabinet as interior minister. Having held some of the most influential positions inside the PRI, Osorio will now oversee all domestic security and intelligence duties as well as the federal police if a proposed restructuring is approved by Congress.

The new president’s campaign manager and closest adviser Luis Videgaray will run the treasury department. Tough, smart and ambitious, Videgaray also served as finance minister under Peña Nieto in the State of Mexico.

Representing the party’s old guard are the likes of Emilio Chuayffet, 61, and Jesus Murillo Karam, 64, named education secretary and attorney general respectively, while new Tourism Secretary Claudia Massieu Salinas – the niece of former President Carlos Salinas de Gortari – provides another link to the PRI of old.

A former interior minister and governor of the State of Mexico, Chuayffet is a famous adversary of Elba Esther Gordillo, the controversial head of the Mexico’s powerful but corrupt teacher’s union. His appointement will distance the government from Gordillo, a former PRI member who left to found the New Alliance Party (PANAL) in 2005.

Another former Hidalgo governor, Murillo has also presided over Mexico’s lower house, the Chamber of Deputies, and served as both PRI secretary general and President Ernesto Zedillo’s undersecretary of public security. As attorney general, he is the only cabinet member whose position must be approved by the Senate.

While the majority of the cabinet are PRI stalwarts, Peña Nieto did make a few non-partisan appointments, offering some indication of how he will govern in certain areas.

The naming of Jose Antonio Meade – who served as treasury secretary under former President Felipe Calderon – as foreign secretary suggests foreign policy will now be focused less on security and more on trade and economic development.

Furthermore, putting former Mexico City Mayor Rosario Robles in charge of social development implies that Peña Nieto favors a progressive attitude toward social policy. Robles was president of the leftist Party of the Democratic Revolution (PRD) from 2002 to 2003 but later resigned amid a corruption scandal.

As the only member of Mexico’s Green Party (PVEM) with a cabinet seat, Juan Guerra will have his green credentials tested as minister of the environment and natual resources. Guerra also served under Peña Nieto in the state of Mexico, when the latter urged him to join the PVEM to bring the party closer to the PRI in the presidential campaign.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. RigoHC permalink
    December 9, 2012 16:46

    pena nieto and his novela star wife are just telegenic faces for the traditional ruling class of the pri,he all ready got blood on his hands on his inauguration day from the repression of protest

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