Sheinbaum Opts for Continuity With Latest Mexico Cabinet Picks

(Bloomberg) -- President-elect Claudia Sheinbaum named Rosa Icela Rodriguez as Mexico’s interior minister, sounding a note of continuity as she navigates the transition period before Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador leaves office in about three months.

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Currently the nation’s security minister, Rodriguez is responsible for presentations about homicide statistics and reductions in violent crime at the president’s iconic daily press briefings. Her new role will make her a liaison between Mexico’s executive branch and other parts of government.

Earlier this week, Sheinbaum rejected calls to distance herself explicitly from AMLO, as the president is known. Investors and political observers are closely watching her cabinet picks to try and determine the extent to which she’ll fashion a different agenda.

The president-elect picked Omar Garcia Harfuch, who was in charge of her plan to reduce crime in Mexico City when she was mayor until 2023, to be security chief. The move was widely expected, as Sheinbaum seeks to convert her successes in the capital into a federal strategy. Ariadna Montiel Reyes, the current federal welfare minister, will continue in her role, which will give her power over programs that have been a signature part of the ruling Morena Party’s success.

Mario Delgado, currently the party president, was chosen as education minister, which keeps him in Sheinbaum’s cabinet but in a lower-profile post than some had expected. Morena, which with its allies won a majority in Congress and swept most gubernatorial posts up for grabs in the June 2 election, has turned into a powerhouse since its founding by Lopez Obrador. Delgado had been among those responsible for its national reach and for speaking to its strengths on the campaign trail.

Sheinbaum’s landslide election win allowed her to start the cabinet-selection process soon after the vote, naming high-profile posts including the finance minister and economy minister. She will take over as president on Oct. 1.

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