Bachelet Names New Chile Cabinet

Bachelet Names New Chile CabinetBachelet Names New Chile Cabinet

Chilean President Michelle Bachelet named a new cabinet on Monday, hoping the changes will arrest the fall in her popularity ratings and overcome scandals that have rocked her administration.

Among key changes, Bachelet replaced Cabinet chief, Rodrigo Penailillo, who had been linked to a company investigated for corruption, with former Defense Minister Jorge Burgos. Banker Rodrigo Valdes was named new finance minister, replacing Alberto Arenas, Al-Jazeera reported.

Bachelet also changed the presidential spokesman and the ministers of justice, defense, labor, culture and social development.

“This new, inspiring and demanding phase requires renewed energies and new faces,” Bachelet said at the presidential palace.

“I don’t think this marks a change in politics because it confirms that the government’s objective is passing its reforms. But there is a change with the nomination of Jorge Burgos because he’s known for always looking for agreements and avoiding confrontation,” said Marta Lagos, head of the Santiago-based polling firm Mori.

A poll released Thursday showed Bachelet’s approval rating has fallen to 29 percent after a series of scandals that have hit politicians, the business elite and even her own family. That’s the lowest for her current administration and her 2006-2010 presidency.