Bolivia’s president Evo Morales began his second mandate with a cabinet reshuffle removing most ministers and complying with the gender parity. The announcement was done over the weekend following his second consecutive inauguration ceremony last Friday.
The new cabinet has now ten men and ten women, having kept only seven of the original team. Among those ousted were three considered “strong men” of the previous cabinet: Presidential minister Juan Ramon Quintana; Interior (Home) minister Alfredo Rada and Defence Walker San Miguel.
“One of my dreams has come true: half the cabinet seats are held by women”, said the Bolivian president. “The new cabinet is made up of singers, lawyers, economists, caucus leaders, doctors and workers”, added Morales who underlined that “for the first time in the history of Bolivia a woman is head of the Labour Affairs Ministry”.
“No matter how much workers or union leaders protest we are going to defend our Minister of Labour Affairs, whether they like it or not”, warned Morales who recalled that naming cabinet ministers is a “presidential attribution”.
President Morales said that since his early days as a union leader he always worked for having women in decision posts based on the “chacha warmi” (in aymara language) which means fifty-fifty gender participation.
Three of the new ministers are indigenous women.
Those who remained include Foreign Affairs, David Choquehuanca; Economy and Finance, Luis Arce; Autonomies, Carlos Romero; Public Works, Walter Delgadillo; Education, Roberto Aguiar; Transparency and Anti-Corruption Nardi Suxo and Oscar Coca who from Hydrocarbons moves to the Presidential ministry.
The new Cultures’ minister is Zulma Yugar, a well known Bolivian folk singer; a young lawyer is the Labour and Social Security minister Carmen Trujillo and indigenous Nilda Copa Condori, Justice Minister.
President Morales also apologized to the police forces and armed forces because when he was a coke planters union leader he called on several occasions for the elimination of these organizations.
“Now I realize that the persecution to which I was submitted (as union leader) was not an institutional decision but rather a political decision from political authorities”, he said during the ceremony when the new commanders of the forces took their posts.
“The Bolivian people and state need of its institutions, the Police and the Armed Forces”, concluded President Morales.
Just thought I'd remember Evo Morales started his second term.