Mexican minister quits her post, joins ruling party campaign


MEXICO CITY: Mexican deputy finance minister Vanessa Rubio has left her post to join the campaign team of ruling party presidential hopeful Jose Antonio Meade amid a reshuffle at the ministry, officials said on Friday.

Rubio, whose departure was announced by Meade’s campaign, is due to be replaced by Miguel Messmacher, the deputy minister for revenue, a ministry official familiar with the matter said.

Meade was in charge of the finance ministry until stepping down to seek the presidential candidacy for the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) in late November. Rubio said on Twitter she would act as Meade’s office coordinator.

Separately, the finance ministry confirmed that treasurer Irene Espinosa had been proposed by President Enrique Pena Nieto as the next board member of the central bank. Espinosa, a former university teacher who has also worked at the Inter-American Development Bank, would be the first woman to sit on the Banco de Mexico board.

Espinosa would fill the vacancy left by newly installed Banco de Mexico Governor Alejandro Diaz de Leon, a former deputy governor who took over the top job at the bank late last year, replacing Agustin Carstens.

The five-person central bank board is responsible for setting interest rates.

Campaign struggles

The campaign of the 48-year-old Meade has struggled to gain traction and escape the taint of corruption surrounding the PRI and Mexico’s unpopular president, Enrique Pena Nieto.

A poll this week showed Meade losing ground to leftist front-runner Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, leaving him stuck in third place in the race to win the July election.

Also joining the finance ministry is Juan Pablo Newman, who will leave his role as a chief financial officer at state oil company Pemex to head the ministry’s public credit unit, according to three people familiar with the matter.

The changes require Senate approval, which is likely to be a formality. Congress is in recess, but the legislature’s permanent commission can also ratify the appointments.

The finance ministry is now run by former Pemex chief executive officer Jose Antonio Gonzalez Anaya.


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