Wednesday 22 October 2014

President-elect names Cabinet team

Published 01/12/2012 | 05:04

Transition team leader Miguel Angel Osorio Chong speaks during the presentation of the cabinet (AP)

President-elect Enrique Pena Nieto has named a Cabinet that is a mix of old guard figures from his long-ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party and new, foreign-educated technocrats.

Transition team leader Miguel Angel Osorio Chong announced that he will take the top position of secretary of the interior, a job that will include overseeing all domestic security and intelligence duties as well as the federal police if a proposed restructuring is approved by Congress.

Mr Chong, a 48-year-old former governor of the central Mexican state of Hidalgo, is known as a political operator and deal maker and he has held some of the most influential positions inside the party, the PRI.

Luis Videgaray, Mr Pena Nieto's campaign chairman and closest adviser, will run the treasury department.

Mr Pena Nieto, who is to be inaugurated today, has pledged to make economic growth and job creation the centrepiece of his administration, and Mr Videgaray, a 44-year-old economist with a doctorate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, appears to be the point-man in that effort.

He is often described as the brains behind the Pena Nieto operation and has worked closely at his side for more than eight years.

Jose Antonio Meade, who currently serves as treasury secretary under outgoing President Felipe Calderon, will head the foreign relations department, in another sign of the importance Mr Pena Nieto puts on the economy.

The new president's transition team said Mexico's relations with the United States will mainly focus on economic cooperation and development. Choices such as Mr Videgaray and Mr Meade are viewed as the new generation of the party.

But the old guard of the PRI, which held Mexico's presidency without interruption from 1929 to 2000, is well represented in figures such as new education secretary Emilio Chuayffet and Jesus Murillo Karam, who was nominated for attorney general. The top prosecutor is the only Cabinet post that must be approved by the Senate.

Mr Chuayffet, 61, is a former governor and interior secretary who has famously tangled with the head of Mexico's powerful teachers' union, former PRI member Elba Esther Gordillo.

Press Association

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