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Perfil

ARGENTINA | 06-03-2024 09:45

Nicolás Posse and Sandra Pettovello, key Milei ministers, tussle for posts and influence

Cabinet Chief Nicolás Posse and Human Capital Minister Sandra Pettovello, two high-profile officials without previous political experience, are ramping up tensions in President Javier Milei’s government.

Many ministers in President Javier Milei’s government have not warmed to Cabinet Chief Nicolás – but his main point of conflict is with Human Capital Minister Sandra Pettovello.

Posse, 58, and Pettovello, 55, have at least two points in common – both are personal friends of President Milei and both lack political experience.
According to reporting by Perfil, the conflict between Posse and Pettovello is developing, representing the rivalry of the political amateurs within the libertarian cabinet. Some fear it could escalate. The tensions between both came out in the open last week when Posse demanded the head of Labour Under-secretary Horacio Pitrau – a figure from his rival’s ‘super-ministry.’

Posse continues to gain power and influence inside the Cabinet. A recent restructuring has placed state companies within his orbit ,with the shares of entities like the AYSA waterworks company, Corredores Viales highway board or the Port Administration in his charge, designating their boards of directors.

He is also spreading his wings into telecommunications. 

Karina Milei, the president’s sister who is commonly known as “el Jefe,” is the partition wall blocking Posse’s growing influence and power. 

On March 1, in the run-up to Milei’s speech before the Legislative Assembly, Posse received the caucuses of libertarian deputies and senators at the former’s request. The meeting was organised by Mendoza politician Omar De Marchi, who works on coordinating the executive and legislative branches. It lasted about 90 minutes and showed the degree of disconnection between the Casa Rosada and Congress, according to sources. Working to build bridges and correct, De Marchi hosted the legislators on the Casa Rosada stairs. All sources consulted highlighted Posse’s cordiality and affability while also attributing inflexibility and a lack of political skills to him.

According to reporting, Posse was a second-line executive in Corporación América despite being director of the “Corredor bioceánico Aconcagua” project. He had no direct access to the firm’s billionaire owner Eduardo Eurnekian – indeed his offices weren’t even on the same floor.

The Cabinet chief still enjoys Milei’s full backing. With acquaintances Posse likes to repeat: “The citizen should not be the state’s office boy.” That’s why his work is key to restructuring the state. 

Posse assumed his role of Cabinet chief on the agreement that he would not have to speak in public but he is supposed to report to Congress once a month, according to the Constitution. He is also on the list of those summoned by the Bicameral Commission of the DNU deregulatory emergency mega-decree. 

In the end, he may have no choice but to speak.

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Pablo Varela

Pablo Varela

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