News Latin America Minister Giorgio Jackson, a fundamental piece of Boric’s new left project, resigns

Minister Giorgio Jackson, a fundamental piece of Boric’s new left project, resigns

Minister Giorgio Jackson, a fundamental piece of Boric’s new left project, resigns

Giorgio Jackson is sworn in in front of Chilean President Gabriel Boric, in 2022.Sebastian Vivallo Onate (Getty Images)

The Chilean president of the left, Gabriel Boric, has accepted this Friday the resignation of the Minister of Social Development, Giorgio Jackson, who has been his companion since they were both university leaders in 2011. It is, with great probability, the hardest blow Boric’s political and personal life in his 17 months in office, because Jackson is not only his political partner, but his friend, and he always resisted removing him from his circle. The Secretary of State has presented his resignation in the midst of the opposition’s announcement to present in Congress, next Monday, a constitutional accusation against him, which seeks his resignation. Although its rationale is not known, the onslaught was led by the far-right Republican Party, which dragged the traditional right into its support. The scenario for Minister Jackson was complex in Parliament and unlike the first time an accusation was made – at the beginning of this year – his figure is very weakened.

“I step aside after verifying that my presence in the Cabinet has been occupied by the political opposition as an excuse for not advancing in the agreements that Chile demands and requires today. I have communicated it to the president in this way and he understood it that way. I want to take the opportunity to thank the president for the trust he placed in me”, Jackson said tonight at La Moneda after a meeting with the president.

Boric did not want to remove Jackson from the Government, because together they were student leaders in 2011, deputies and then began the race for the presidency. If Boric and not Jackson were the candidate, it was mainly because Boric was 35 years old to run, while Jackson was not. The two founded the Broad Front – a coalition of the new Chilean left that looked to Podemos – and led a presidential campaign that led them to La Moneda in March 2022. Jackson took office in the president’s first political ring, the ministry of the General Secretariat of the Presidency –which manages relations with Parliament–, but he had a complex management with Congress precisely because of the enmities he earned in his eight years as a deputy, even with the left.

Jackson’s resignation, which he has described as indeclinable, occurs in the midst of the crisis of the Agreements case, whose main protagonists are the Democratic Revolution (RD), the party of which he is the leader and founder. It is a plot to transfer State resources to foundations linked mainly to the ruling party and that has had a strong impact on the RD party, which is part of the Broad Front, Boric’s original coalition. The case broke out on June 16 and, in these almost two months, the pressure for Jackson’s departure has been daily. Virtually all Cabinet ministers, Jackson and the president must answer questions regarding his resignation and the government has been trapped in this matter, which even the pro-government forces have resented. In recent days, even the government parties have pushed to unlock the political moment with the departure of Jackson, a 36-year-old industrial civil engineer.

After the robbery that affected the offices of the Ministry of Social Development on the night of July 19 – the thieves took 23 computers and a safe, among other items – the traditional right-wing party UDI froze the dialogue with the Government, while the president did not decide to remove him from the Cabinet. The opposition political force did so in the midst of key negotiations for the current Administration, such as pension and tax reform. The Chamber of Deputies approved last week – even with the votes of the ruling party – an appeal to the president to remove Jackson and the pressure even came from the leader of one of the main business unions, the CPC, Ricardo Mewes. The most powerful figures in the Cabinet, such as the Ministers of the Interior and the Treasury, Carolina Toha and Mario Marcel, made much of their political capital available to Jackson.

What Jackson said – which was used as an excuse for not advancing in the agreements that Chile demands and requires today – is in the same line as what the president said on Wednesday, who assured that the opposition was looking for, with the exit of Jackson, was actually to block his reforms and the political program of the Government. Neither of them, nor the majority of the government, was ever convinced of Jackson’s political responsibilities under the Agreements case. A couple of days ago, the spokeswoman, Camila Vallejo, said that she wanted to fire Jackson because of his closeness to the president.

Minutes after the resignation of the minister, the Republican Party withdrew from the accusation that it had announced that it would present on Monday. In a quick statement, he pointed out: “Despite considering that there are sufficient merits to pursue the political and legal responsibility of the former minister for a series of offenses and events related to his current management [en el ministerio de Desarrollo Social] and past as minister of the Segpres [Secretaria General de la Presidencia]We believe that the president’s decision to accept his resignation makes his political responsibility effective and closes a disastrous ministerial management for the government and for the country”.

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