MEXICO CITY – Mexican President Felipe Calderon accepted the resignations of two Cabinet members and his private secretary, all of whom plan to run for Senate seats in the 2012 elections.
The president hailed the work of his private secretary, Roberto Gil, Labor Secretary Javier Lozano and Public Administration Secretary Salvador Vega and announced that they will be replaced by Jose Guadalupe Rodriguez, Rosalinda Velez and Rafael Morgan, respectively.
He urged the newly appointed officials to continue efforts to transform the country in 2012, stressing the importance of working with “determination and enthusiasm” next year toward a “safer, more just and more prosperous Mexico.”
In a swearing-in ceremony Wednesday at the Los Pinos official residence, Calderon thanked Lozano for his efforts to achieve labor peace, foster dialogue among labor and management and spur economic competitiveness.
The outgoing secretary lamented the stalling of a labor overhaul in Congress, which he blamed on “smallness” and political calculation, and praised his successor, who becomes the first woman to hold that Cabinet post.
Calderon gave Velez, previously the head of the Federal Attorney General’s Office for the Defense of Workers, the task of pushing the overhaul through Congress and of “redoubling efforts” to generate employment conditions and promote training courses for job seekers.
The conservative head of state entrusted Morgan, who had been the Public Administration Secretariat’s deputy secretary of control and auditing, with combating corruption, further reducing red tape and modernizing Mexico’s public administration to provide efficient service to citizens.
Calderon praised Gil’s work as his private secretary and instructed Rodriguez, until now the head of the agency in charge of federal toll roads and bridges, to promote dialogue, build “synergy and harmony” and keep the presidency’s doors open to citizens at all times.
The president had announced a previous Cabinet shuffle in September, when then-Finance Secretary Ernesto Cordero and then-Health Secretary Jose Angel Cordova stepped down to run for president and governor of Guanajuato state, respectively, as National Action Party, or PAN, candidates in 2012.
Mexicans will go to the polls on July 1, 2012, to choose Calderon’s successor and more than 2,000 other elected officials, including all 628 federal lawmakers.
Calderon began the final year of his six-year term on Dec. 1 amid a public safety crisis sparked by violent drug gangs, whose turf battles and clashes with security forces have left nearly 50,000 dead over the past five years. EFE