Chile’s Boric Reshuffles Cabinet Following Voters’ Rejection of Draft Constitution

Chilean President Gabriel Boric has made the first adjustments to his team since taking office in March, and which include the exit of Interior Minister Izkia Siches

Palacio de la Moneda in Chile's capital Santiago.
September 06, 2022 | 03:50 PM

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Santiago — Following the rejection of the proposed new Constitution in Sunday’s plebiscite, Chilean President Gabriel Boric has carried out his first cabinet reshuffle since taking office almost six months ago.

The reshuffle included ministers and undersecretaries, and among the most important changes are the departures of Interior Minister Izkia Siches and Giorgio Jackson as General Secretary of the Presidency, both of whom are part of Boric’s inner circle, but who received harsh criticism in recent months.

“I am making these cabinet changes thinking of our country. Cabinet changes are always dramatic in Chile, and this one has not lacked its dose of drama,” Boric said. “It had to hurt, and it hurts, but it is necessary. It is perhaps one of the most difficult moments politically that I have had to face, and we will get through it, together.”

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Jackson takes over at the Ministry of Social Development, while Siches left the cabinet in tears.

During the appointment of the new ministers and the farewell to the outgoing ones, Boric broke with protocol to embrace the former interior minister.

The adjustment occurs two days after voters overwhelmingly chose the “reject” option over “approve” in the plebiscite on the draft of the new constitution,.

In the midst of the appointments, incidents were reported in the vicinity of La Moneda Palace, in downtown Santiago, after high school students mobilized along Alameda Avenue to demonstrate.

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According to information from the anti-riot police (Carabineros), six people were arrested, among them three minors.

Departures and new appointments

Siches was replaced by Carolina Tohá Morales as interior minister, becoming the second woman to hold the post in Chile’s history, while Jackson was replaced by Ana Lya Uriarte Rodríguez.

María Begoña Yarza is replaced at the Health Ministry by surgeon Ximena Aguilera Sanhueza.

Diego Pardow Lorenzo is the new energy minister, replacing Claudio Huepe, while Silvia Díaz Acosta is the new minister of science, technology and innovation, replacing Flavio Salazar.