Wednesday, June 12, 2024

ARGENTINA | 11-12-2023 12:40

Javier Milei’s government begins with first presidential decrees

President trims government from 19 to 9 ministries, confirms appointment of Cabinet officials and modifies existing decree to allow his sister, Karina Milei, to be named secretary-general.

Argentina’s new government has published the first decrees of the Javier Milei Presidency, new President Javier Milei, including a dramatic modification of the Cabinet. 

In the first edition of the Official Gazette published by the new La Libertad Avanza administration, thirteen decrees signed by the new head of state were made public.

One of these documents is Decree of Necessity and Urgency (DNU) 8/2023, which reduces the existing 19 government ministries to nine: Interior; Foreign Affairs; International Trade & Worship; Defence; Economy; Infrastructure; Justice; Security; Health; and Human Capital.

Appointments of government ministers were also confirmed: Nicolás Posse (Cabinet Chief), Guillermo Francos (Interior), Diana Mondino (Foreign Affairs), Luis Petri (Defence), Luis Caputo (Economy), Patricia Bullrich (Security), Mario Russo (Health), Mariano Cúneo Libarona (Justice), Guillermo Ferraro (Infrastructure) and Sandra Pettovello (Human Capital).

The decree also confirmed the appointment of Karina Milei, the president’s sister, as Secretary General to the Presidency. 

The new Cabinet officials were sworn-in on Sunday evening following the president’s inauguration. Members of the press were not admitted to the ceremony.

Video footage of the Milei’s swearing-in of his sibling circulated on social media on Sunday night. The new head of state was clearly emotional as Karina Milei – the woman he calls “The Boss” – took the oath of office.

In order for her to take on the role of secretary general to the Presidency, Milei had to repeal a decree signed by former president Mauricio Macri that prevented family members from holding government posts.

Human Capital Ministry

The creation of the new Human Capital Ministry is one of the first major moves by President Milei. Headed by his close ally, Sandra Viviana Pettovello, the portfolio has been created through the elimination of the Women, Gender & Diversity Ministry.

"The commitments and obligations assumed by the WOMEN, GENDER AND DIVERSITY MINISTRY will be in the charge of the HUMAN CAPITAL MINISTRY, being considered transferred the budgetary credits, organisational units, assets, personnel with their positions and endowments in force to date, until the corresponding structures are approved," read a decree published Monday.

The portfolio will also absorb the Education, Culture, Labour and Social Development Ministries of the previous administration. 

The text then defines the portfolio’s new functions as: Labour and Employment; Education and Culture; Social Security and Social Assistance; Human Development and Gender Policies; Housing and Habitat; Food and Health Policies; Childhood and Adolescence; and Family and Older Adults.

The changes in the decree also indicate that the Justice & Human Rights Ministry has been renamed the Justice Ministry.

Milei, who has been criticised by human rights groups, thus breaks with 24 years of tradition. The inclusion of ‘Human Rights’ into the judicial portfolio first began in 1999 under Fernando de la Rúa’s government and though the Ministry has been renamed, ‘Human Rights’ has always remained in its formal title.

It is unclear if there will be a Human Rights Secretariat in the new government.



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