SANTIAGO – Chile’s interior minister, Christian Democrat Jorge Burgos, on Wednesday resigned the post he has assumed a little over a year ago.
President Michelle Bachelet named another Christian Democrat, Mario Fernandez Baeza, to replace Burgos.
Fernandez, an attorney currently serving as Chile’s ambassador to Uruguay, held the post of defense minister during the 2000-2006 administration of President Ricardo Lagos.
Burgos met on Wednesday for almost an hour with Bachelet to tell her of his decision, Bio Bio radio reported.
Jorge Burgos assumed the post on May 11, 2015, replacing Rodrigo Peñailillo, who was fired as a result of the scandal involving alleged campaign finance violations.
“It took us by surprise and we regret it, because he was doing a good job as interior minister,” lawmaker Matias Walker, deputy leader of the Christian Democrats, told reporters.
Burgos’s discontent had become palpable after several decisions adopted by Bachelet, a Socialist, and by other figures in the governing New Majority coalition, comprised of a broad cross-section of political groupings ranging from Christian Democrats to Communists.
One of the most evident disagreements arose over the official visit in late December made by the president to the conflicted region of La Araucania, a trip from which Burgos was excluded and which he learned about only when Bachelet was already on the way to the airport.
And on Tuesday, the speaker of the lower house of Congress, Socialist Osvaldo Andrade, asked the Constitutional Court to review a provision of the anti-crime legislation pushed by Burgos.