The fall of María Alejandra Vicuña was the missing card. With the arrival of Otto Sonnenholznerto the Vice Presidency of the Republic, Lenin Moreno’s cabinet adopts a more technical than political tone. Good news according to analysts, social groups,businessmen and several opposition members of the assembly.
The overturning of technocracy – which according to the Royal Academy of the Language is defined as the application of “effective measures that pursue social wel fareregardless of ideological considerations” – is notorious if one compares Moreno’s first cabinet with the current one. In the list of May 24, 2017, for example, there were political figures inherited from the administration of former President Rafael Correa. Rosana Alvarado (Justice), Fander Falconí(Education), Miguel Carvajal (Defense) and María Alejandra Vicuña (Housing) are some examples.
None of those characters, all linked to the correísmo, could maintain his position in the ranks of Moreno. Moreover, of the 43 positions of ministers and secretaries that existed at the beginning of the government, only nine remain with the same name.
The displaced also include names such as Iván Espinel, in the Ministry of Economic and Social Inclusion, and Carlos de la Torre, as Minister of Economy and Finance.
Precisely in that portfolio of State is evident one of the most radical changes. Richard Martinez, former president of the Ecuadorian Business Committee, assumed the Ministry of Economy and represented a turn in the financial management of Ecuador.
It was one of themost positive signs of the current government, according to the Observatory of Fiscal Policy and the Ecuador Libre Foundation. For the first time, in more than a decade, the Ministry of Economy had a more technical than political direction.
The same happened in Defense. The soldier in passive service, Oswaldo Jarrin, ended with acontinuous appointment of politicians as head of the ministry. In the era of Correa, for example, Ricardo Patiño came to assume the function of maximum authority of the Armed Forces.
For Patricio Alarcón,current president of the Ecuadorian Business Committee, another star example of technocrats in power is that of the Ministry of Foreign Trade. Pablo Campana took office in May 2017 and has held for more than 18 months.
Alarcón says that Campana’s work gives results because ideologies were left aside and pragmatic results were sought. However, the employer acknowledges, a political commitmentis necessary behind any technical decision. It would be of little use to place technocratic ministers, he says, if there was no support and follow-up on their decisions.
That happens, in the opinion of the head of the Business Committee, in the economic field. The decisions of Richard Martinez are somewhat truncated by the lack of political coordination within the cabinet and the Alianza PAIS movement.
A sample of that affirmation is the lack of support to the budgetary proforma that the Executive sent to the National Assembly. The ruling bloc did not prevent the document from returning to the Presidency of the Republic, instead of being approved bythe plenary session of the Legislative.
The political group shave similar criteria although they are more optimistic. The National Integration Bank (BIN), the CREO movement and the Social Christian Party (PSC)believe that the arrival of the new vice president – who replaces an exaliada of Rafael Correa – is a positive sign because Sonnenholzner “does not have a questionable past” .
There is a greater proximity
The turn in the government of President Lenin Moreno does not feel alone inside. There is alsoa change in the relationship with the social and business sectors. Yesterday,for example, the Minister of the Interior, and in charge of the Secretariat of Politics, María Paula Romo, met with members of the Ecuadorian Business Committee.
According to the assistants, the minister committed his support to the management of the businessmen and listened to his orders.
The caucus of like-minded members of President Rafael Correa maintains that changes in the cabinet are aturnaround for business interests. They assure that the appointments are the confirmation of new leaders behind the government.
One of the constant characteristics in the first cabinet of Moreno, besides the closeness to the former president Rafael Correa, is the connection with corruption cases. The two former vice-presidents, the former Minister of Inclusion, among others, are investigated.
The last cabinet renewal was fulfilled at the beginning of this month. In the purification came,for example, the former Minister of Education, Fander Falconí. He was replaced by education expert, Milton Luna. (I)