Uruguay: New Socialist leader for coalition in power
Mónica Xavier from socialist party is elected as head of Frente Amplio coalition in power; while Mujica’s new cabinet arrangements cause internal crisis in the Left.
New socialist leader for coalition in power
Mónica Xavier has been elected the new head of the Frente Amplio (FA), coalition in office. Originally from the socialist party of ex-President Vásquez, she is currently senator.
This victory shows a rise in moderate groups within the FA. Xavier was supported by the Frente Líbere Seregini faction which responds to vice-President Danilo Astori. Either the Movimiento de Participación Popular (Movement for the Popular Participation) or the Communist Party managed a strong position in the coalition, even though they have the strongest military base.
It was also a difficult result for President Mujica. His faction lost the support which had made him the predominant group in the coalition a couple of years ago .
The presence of Xavier at the top of the coalition will benefit the possible return for Tabaré Vázquez. Owing to the fact that they belong to the same political origin, they may well take advantage of this positive relationship.
However, it seems that the FA is losing the support of voters. According to Jorge Brovetto this internal election had 52,000 votes less than in 2006. This means that in Montevideo there was a fall of 30% of voters.
Mujica’s unexpected cabinet decisions cause crisis in Left
The political scene has experienced several changes during this week. President Mujica decided the unexpected leave of two cabinet members, causing an internal crisis in the Left.
On Wednesday, it was Héctor Lescano who was invited to retire from his post as Minister of Tourism. He has been in charge since 2005 which could have been the reasons behind Mujica’s decision. In addition, sources suggest that it was a gender matter too as it will be Liliam Kechichián who takes over.
Next day it was the turn of Gerardo Rey, now ex-Director of the UTE (Administration of National Power Station and Electric Transmissions).
These changes were not welcomed by the Frente Líber Seregni. They believe that this will lead him to lose his parliamentary support. Also, they disagree on the reasons for the dismissals, particularly of Lescano, concerned about the way in which Mujica took decisions without consultation.