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Sept. 10, 2011

Finance Minister Ernesto Cordero resigns
to run for PAN presidential nomination

Calderón makes several Cabinet changes;
Cordero finally makes it into double digits in poll

ernesto corderoFinance Minister Ernesto Cordero (right) left the Cabinet on Friday to run for the National Action Party presidential nomination. To date, he has badly trailed PAN frontrunners Santiago Creel and Josefina Vázquez Mota, but at least one poll had him moving past single-digit support after Education Minister Alonso Lujambio dropped out of the race. Cordero is seen as Calderón's favored candidate.

Three ministers left the Cabinet: Cordero to run for president; Health Minister José Ángel Córdova Villalobos to run for governor of Guanajuato; and Guillermo Valdez of the state intelligence agency, the Center for Investigation and National Security (CISEN: Centro de Investigación y Seguridad Nacional). Valdez is being succeeded by presidential spokesman Alejandro Poiré, one of Calderón's confidants. Story, El Mexicano. Jump page. Story in Frontera.
Valdez has been in the CISEN post since the Calderón administration began; he had headed the GEA-ISA polling firm, which had predicted Calderón's 2006 victory. Calderón said Castellanos would join academic life, although the Milenio daily said he might become ambassador to Spain.

Poiré, who has been the president's main spokesman on the fight against organized crime, will have his hands full. President Felipe Calderón said that despite the administration's hard work to fight organized crime, "We have not closed the distance between the gravity of our problems and our abilities to solve them. Generating more intelligence is a critical matter."

The new finance minister will be José Antonio Meade, who left the Energy Ministry. His replacement at Energy will be Jordy Herrera, who headed Pemex Gas y Petroquímica Básica and had been a deputy Energy minister.

The new health minister will be Salomón Chertorivski, who had been heading the Seguro Popular health insurance program.

The new presidential spokeswoman will be Alejandra Sota Miraflores, who had been coordinator of social communications for the presidency.

Creel and Vázquez Mota left their congressional posts earlier this summer to run for the PAN nomination. The newsweekly Cambio, citing a Gabinete de Comunicacion Estrategica poll, said the following PAN contenders, including Jalisco Gov. Emilio González, had the following positive ratings:
Creel................ 33.7%
Vázquez Mota.... 33.3%
Cordero............. 17.9%
González........... 15.4%

But Creel had the worst negative ratings, 25.5%, nine points higher than Cordero's 16.5%.

When asked who the PAN candidate should be, the response was:
Vázquez Mota.... 39.4%
Creel................ 30.3%
Cordero............. 11.4%
González............ 7.7%