Chile’s new president-elect, Sebastián Piñera, will announce his first cabinet picks on Tuesday, February 9, after what has been a rather complicated process.
During the campaign, Piñera and his closest advisors had committed to a technocratic approach to cabinet selection, however since the election the largest political party in the winning coalition, Unión Demócrata Independiente (UDI) has been pushing to include close political allies in key cabinet assignments. Tension rose this morning when the leader of Renovación Nacional, Piñera’s party, made statements about the political nature of the ministries saying, ”consultants are able to provide technical knowledge but they do not deliver political efficiency.”
These early tensions are being called significant since they may influence Chilean politics and policymaking for the next four years. Observers note that the president-elect has a managerial style that is more technical than political in nature. But a more politicized cabinet would have more power to include a social agenda in the executive’s policy proposals. Balancing these forces will not be easy; UDI is the country’s biggest party and controls 30 percent of Congress.