Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

The Murderous Lure of Jihad: Tackiling ISIS and its Worldwide Recruitment

Read more

FOCUS

Republicans block Obama's bid to hike minimum wage

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users divided over Darren Wilson

Read more

WEB NEWS

Web users take on 'Ice Bucket Challenge' to fight ALS

Read more

ENCORE!

From Paris's Liberation to 'arresting' art in Avignon

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Ferguson riots: Pressure mounts on Obama

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The pen is mightier than the sword'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Requiem for a recorder'

Read more

  • Two US Ebola patients leave hospital ‘virus-free’

    Read more

  • Turkey’s Erdogan names foreign minister Davutoglu as next PM

    Read more

  • US reaches historic $16.7bn settlement with Bank of America

    Read more

  • Special report: Supplying Ukraine’s soldiers on the front line

    Read more

  • US forces tried to rescue slain reporter from IS captors

    Read more

  • Israeli air strike kills three top Hamas commanders

    Read more

  • France delivered arms to Syrian rebels, Hollande confirms

    Read more

  • Tensions high in Yemen as Shiite rebel deadline looms

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

  • French village rallies behind besieged elderly British couple

    Read more

  • Former Irish PM Albert Reynolds dies at 81

    Read more

  • Former Femen activist detained after fighting veiled woman

    Read more

  • Thailand coup leader Prayuth Chan-ocha voted prime minister

    Read more

  • Brazil’s Silva launches bid after Campos plane crash death

    Read more

  • Brutal IS beheading video sparks social media pushback

    Read more

  • US attorney general visits Missouri town after fatal shooting

    Read more

Americas

Cristina Kirchner shakes up cabinet after defeat

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-07-08

Argentina's embattled president, Cristina Kirchner, has carried out a minor reshuffle of her cabinet in the wake of a mid-term election defeat that saw her losing a majority in Congress.

REUTERS - Argentine President Cristina Fernandez reshuffled her cabinet on Tuesday, but the shake-up suggests few policy changes as she attempts to shore up her government after a crushing defeat in a mid-term vote.

 

The reshuffle came as opposition leaders stepped up calls for changes in her top aides after she lost her majority in Congress in the June 28 congressional election, which was seen as a referendum on her turbulent presidency.

 

"It's musical chairs," said Federico Thomsen, an Argentine political and economic analyst. "It does signal Fernandez felt something had to change, but none of the appointees is new."

 

Fernandez named Anibal Fernandez, currently the justice minister and not related to her, as cabinet chief. He is a confidant of the Argentine leader's husband, former President Nestor Kirchner, who is widely seen as co-running the government.

 

Amado Boudou, the head of the country's state pension agency, was appointed economy minister and takes office as Latin America's No. 3 economy cools after a six-year boom.

 

Fernandez's popularity ratings have plummeted as she struggles with a slowing economy, high inflation and a long-running battle with farmers over export taxes.

 

Although official figures show the economy is still growing slowly, the data is widely seen as overly rosy. Private estimates forecast an economic contraction this year, with unemployment rising as car, steel and construction output slump.

 

Boudou replaces Carlos Fernandez, who analysts said had a minor role in shaping economic policy that is largely determined by the Kirchners.

 

PRESIDENTIAL PAIR

 

Boudou presided over the state pensions agency after Fernandez nationalized Argentina's private pension funds last year, but he is seen as someone who answers to the presidential pair rather than an influential figure in his own right.

 

Fernandez retained one of her most controversial cabinet members, Domestic Commerce Secretary Guillermo Moreno, who is accused of manipulating the country's economic data and being the chief enforcer of the government's unorthodox anti-inflation policies.

 

The Kirchners have increased the state's role in the economy and imposed price controls and export caps in recent years to slow inflation, angering some business leaders.

 

Economists, consumer groups and even some state statisticians accuse the government of under-reporting inflation and exaggerating economic growth for political gain.

 

Government critics have repeatedly called for Moreno to step down to restore credibility to the national statistics agency, INDEC.

 

"A renovation of the cabinet that included removing some of the most criticized figures was expected," said Rosendo Fraga, a political analyst. "This implies the Kirchners have decided to stay the course," he said.

 

The cabinet shake-up comes as Fernandez grapples with an outbreak of the H1N1 flu virus that has killed 60 people in Argentina, further testing her government after the electoral defeat.

 

In another setback in the election, Kirchner finished second in a key congressional race in Buenos Aires province, loosening the Kirchners' grip on the ruling Peronist party.

 

The president made appointments to two other senior posts, naming Julio Alak as the new justice minister and Diego Bossio as head of the National Social Security Administration.

 

The new cabinet members will be sworn on Wednesday.

 

Date created : 2009-07-08

COMMENT(S)