The latest strategy to win voters: Presenting the Cabinet of Ministers

A few days before Colombians vote, candidates present their cabinets to inform those who will accompany them in their work and generate confidence in the electorate

The latest strategy to win voters: Presenting the Cabinet of Ministers

Next Sunday, June 17, Colombia will elect the successor of President Juan Manuel Santos. The two candidates that will face each other, Iván Duque and Gustavo Petro, are already thinking about the group of people that will accompany them to win the electoral contest.

Leer en español: La última estrategia para conquistar votantes: Presentar el gabinete de ministros

Gustavo Petro announced, on Tuesday, June 12, the persons he would like to occupy the most important portfolios, among them are:

  • Humberto de la Calle, former presidential candidate. It is not known with certainty what position he would occupy, but Petro assures that the former candidate would have a position in his government.
  • José Antonio Ocampo, Co-Director of the Bank of the Republic and executive director of ECLAC. According to La FM, Ocampo would be Minister of Finance for his work at ECLAC and his career as an economist.
  • Cecilia Lopéz, former Minister of the Environment, IDB Consultant Deputy Minister of Agriculture. As with De la Calle, Petro did not specify what position Lopez would occupy. However, according to his statements, the former Minister would have a position in the government of Petro in case he comes to the presidency and it is presumed to be in the ministry of environment or agriculture.
  • Ricardo Bonilla González, Secretary of the Treasury during the mayoralty of Petro. Bonilla was part of the commission of experts of the Santos government that made recommendations on tax reform. In this sense, although his position was not named, he would be expected to be within the economic sector of the nation.
  • María Mercedes Maldonado, Coordinator of the campaign of the candidate of the Human Colombia and Secretary of Habitat, Housing and Planning when Petro was mayor. Petro did not delve into details about what role he would play.

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Iván Duque for his part, until now, has said that his cabinet would be composed mainly of women and young people.

During election campaigns, it is very rash for candidates to say who would occupy the ministers. However, when the electoral race approaches its end, the candidates begin to say their cabinets in order to give solidity to their proposals.

In fact, the situation is not exclusive to Colombia. In Mexico, next July 1, the country will have one of the largest electoral days in its history. For this reason, the presidential candidates have already begun to make known their cabinet to reach the presidency, and they do so now that only a little less than 3 weeks are missing.

Electoral strategy

Jorge Iván Gómez, analyst of political strategy, assures that the candidates in their last weeks have to fight with all their tools to conquer the undecided voters. "Here comes the last opportunity to build trust in the electorate, a team of ministers who are successful, prepared and who generate confidence can decide the last minute votes."

Gomez says that, in countries with election in the second round, this letter is usually presented last week. "It's like the letter of despair, there are always voters who depending on the team with which their candidate is going to work decide whether or not to give their vote. In the Colombian case, it is not surprising that Gustavo Petro presents his cabinet this week in case of being the winner; he has to conquer all those voters who are still not sure".

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A very Latin American practice

The presentation of the presidential cabinet explains Gómez, "it is a standardized practice in the region, usually the candidate who has lower favorability in the polls uses this formula to reactivate the interest in the electoral contest, showing that he is not only prepared for the post , but it is also accompanied by a team able to advise you in government work".

In Mexico, recently, presidential candidate Ricardo Anaya assured that his cabinet would be made up of people who, before taking office, should be validated by the Congress of the Republic, taking as an example the United States and the ratification that makes the congress of this country to the new secretaries. For his part, Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO), presidential candidate, already has his cabinet formed and in an interview with the newspaper El Financiero he assured that he would not request the ratification of the legislature.

In the electoral contests carried out so far in 2018, in Paraguay and Costa Rica the use of the ministerial cabinet was made public. In Colombia, this practice is being used in this week of the final straight of the presidential race. In Mexico, AMLO has already made its bet. We must wait if in October, before the Brazilians go to the polls, the candidates will also announce their cabinets.

Latin American Post | Carlos Eduardo Gómez Avella
Translated from “La última estrategia para conquistar votantes: Presentar el gabinete de ministros”

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