Milei eyes cabinet reshuffle: who could stay and who could go

Chief of Staff Nicolás Posse could be asked to step down following debate over the Ley Bases in Congress

While the process has taken longer than the government might have hoped, the congressional debate over the flagship reform bill known as Ley Bases is a clear victory for the Milei administration. Yet as the self-described anarcho-capitalist inches closer to realizing his legislative agenda, his cabinet could be in flux, with Chief of Staff Nicolás Posse on the chopping block. 

“Our first government milestone would be the outcome of the Ley Bases. It could go well, or it may not be approved,” Milei told LN+ news channel last Thursday. “After that milestone is reached, we will have to evaluate the results, and the entire cabinet will be under analysis. Not just Posse, but all of the ministers.”

After being approved in the Lower House in late April, the proposal, also known as Omnibus Bill, is now being discussed by senators in commissions. Lawmakers are expected to approve a final version of the bill in the coming days and hold a session to debate and vote on its contents next week. A potential government turnover could take place after that, and, if approved, Milei’s “May Pact” would become the law of the land as early as June.

“We will evaluate what worked, and what didn’t work will be changed,” Milei said.

Rumors of Posse’s potential departure have been increasing in recent days. After skipping several government events last month, he attended a religious service held each year on May 25 at the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Cathedral with the president and other ministers. Posse also appeared at Milei’s rally in Córdoba later that day, despite speculation that he would not show.

Still, Milei’s rift with Posse was evident: during both events, the president declined to shake his chief of staff’s hand. The Córdoba rally presenter also failed to mention Posse by name while listing all of the cabinet members in attendance. The president praised several ministers during his speech, but not Posse’s.

Since Milei assumed power in December, Posse has been one of the few members in his inner circle, along with his sister, Presidency Secretary Karina Milei, and his main political advisor, Santiago Caputo.

Presidential spokesman Manuel Adorni denied that Posse would be leaving the cabinet during a press conference last week. 

“That is clearly not true,” he said. “There will not be any changes in the government.”

A new stage of government

During the same interview in which he pointed to future cabinet changes, Milei mentioned that former Central Bank President Federico Sturzenegger will become a minister if the Ley Bases is approved in the Senate. The legislation’s passage would be the start of the second stage of his “structural reforms,” he said.

Sturzenegger has worked closely with Milei since he took office, despite not having an official role in the government initially. In January, he was named head of the “Transitory Unit for Economic Deregulation.” Along with the Omnibus Bill, he co-authored Milei’s massive presidential decree that deregulated the Argentine economy.

Despite claiming that Sturzenegger will join the cabinet in an official capacity, current Economy Minister Luis “Toto” Caputo doesn’t appear to be in any danger of being removed. During his speech on Saturday, Milei mentioned him several times, saying Caputo was in charge of “the largest austerity plan in history.”

Two weeks ago, Milei also congratulated Caputo on the nation’s 8.8% April inflation rate, gloating that he had scored a “goal.”

“I’m going to start calling Toto ‘piggybank,’ because you need to break him into pieces to get a penny out of him,” he had said the day before during an event with business people. “He is unbreakable, and if you want to break him, you’ll have to break me first.”

Human Capital Minister Sandra Pettovello’s job also appears to be safe. “Was I wrong when I said Pettovello is harder than a statue’s curl?” Milei asked during an interview with LN+ on May 18, lauding her “unmasking” of Peronism for reporting alleged irregularities in the previous government’s ministry of social development.

“I am her friend,” he said. “I know she won’t back down.”

Interior Minister Guillermo Francos has been tasked with drumming up support from governors and lawmakers for the Ley Bases since February. In April, Milei said Francos is one of his government’s “doves,” as it’s his role to negotiate with provincial officials and the opposition. The president included Foreign Minister Diana Mondino, Vice President Victoria Villarruel, and Lower House President Martín Menem in that group as well. 

While he didn’t say who the “hawks” were, Milei joked during an interview with El Observador that he and Security Minister Patricia Bullrich are the “talibans” of the government.

“Talibans put the votes on the table,” he told the newspaper. “That’s Patricia and me. Patricia is fabulous, wonderful, amazing. I am fascinated.” 

Bullrich ran against Milei for the presidency last year. On the campaign trail, Milei referred to her as a “terrorist” for her political activism during the 1970s, but later made amends, leading to her endorsement of him for president ahead of the November runoff election.

Last Friday, Francos told Rivadavia radio station that he accepts that he may have fulfilled his duties as interior minister and “may not be needed in the next [stage of government].”

“I will remain in my position as long as Milei tells me to,” he added.

Despite the rumors and public statements, there are no certainties regarding how or when the cabinet reshuffle will be carried out, only that it will potentially happen after the Ley Bases is debated.


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