El Salvador Government, Elections 2009, Mauricio Funes

The Transition Begins

In an interview Monday, president-elect Mauricio Funes stated that he might put off naming his cabinet until May. In the immediate term, he will continue working with the team he named 10 days ago, some of which will likely end up in his cabinet. The president-elect’s current team includes Carlos Cáceres, Alex Segovia, Héctor Silva, María Isabel Rodríguez, ex rector of the UES, Roberto Turcios, Roberto Lorenzana, Hugo Martínez, Karina Sosa, Gerson Martínez, and his political advisor Francis “Hato” Hasbún.

President-elect Funes, the first FLMN candidate to win the presidency, also stated that he would not be concerned about party affiliations when considering who will fill the cabinet positions. Federico Colorado, the president of the National Association of Private Business, stated that he hopes Funes remains true to his word, and does not base is appointments on nepotism, cronyism, or party affiliation. He also stated that the president-elect ought to name his cabinet sooner rather than later in order to instill confidence in the business sector.

President Tony Saca has begun preparing for the transition, and will meet with the president-elect next week to discuss the process. To facilitate the transition, President Saca is naming a commission that will include Techical Secretary to the President, Eduardo Ayala Grimaldi; the Minister of the Treasury, William Handal; and Minister of Education Darlyn Meza, with more to be named later.

President-elect Funes also stated that when he takes office, he will have to replace 2300 government officials. Ensuring that he has the legal authority to make such replacements, the administration argues that these positions require confidence and loyalty. The positions include the Ministers of the various government agencies, and two other layers of government workers below them.