Under maximum pressure, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez announced a cabinet reshuffle in order to emerge from a political crisis caused by an electoral setback of his majority.
Pressed from all sides to take measures for change, Argentine President Alberto Fernandez announced on September 17 a government reshuffle after several days of political uncertainty following the harsh defeat of his majority, Frente de Todos (FdT), in the compulsory primaries of September 12, which preceded the legislative elections in November.
To make matters worse for the center-left president, thousands of people marched through the streets of Buenos Aires on September 16, denouncing the economic crisis they are suffering from amid a pandemic that has severely affected this Latin American country. . The same day, Alberto Fernandez was challenged to his left by his vice-president Cristina Kirchner (left-wing president of the country from 2007 to 2015) who, publishing an open letter, castigated his management of the crisis and demanded a change of government, attributing the recent electoral defeat to the economic course assumed by the Head of State. The day before, five ministers close to the former president had submitted their resignation, but it had not been accepted.
It is in this context that the president, under maximum pressure, announced changes in six ministries and a secretariat. Juan Manzur, governor of the province of Tucuman, has been appointed head of the council of ministers, replacing Santiago Cafiero, one of the members of the executive most contested by Kirchner. Cafiero has, however, been appointed head of diplomacy, replacing Felipe Sola, who is in Mexico. The new ministers are Anibal Fernandez (Security), Julian Dominguez (Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries), Juan Perzyck (Education) and Daniel Filmus (Science and Technology). Juan Ross is the new Secretary for Communication and Press, in place of Juan Pablo Biondi, whom the vice-president openly criticized by accusing him of organizing “off-operations” against him. These are discussions with journalists on condition of anonymity.
Alberto Fernandez and part of his cabinet will share a working lunch on September 18 with governors from all over the country in the province of La Rioja. This will be the president’s first public appearance after the recent episodes.