San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

With new appointments, next government looking like the last one

With six new appointments to head pivotal ministries, the government of president-elect Laura Chinchilla is taking shape.

On Tuesday, Chinchilla named new candidates to fill the top posts in the finance, commerce, foreign trade, tourism, public works and agriculture ministries, complementing her previous appointments to the security and presidency ministries made last week.

Most of the appointees were already serving in the current administration of Oscar Arias, and were shuffled around to fill new roles.

“I think Laura´s living up to her promise in that she is going to continue the government of Oscar Arias,” said Carlos Denton, co-founder of the San José-based polling firm CID-Gallup. “All of these people are good people. They are stalwarts of the Liberation Party. But I would expect four years of the same of what we have now.”

The current Communications Minister Mayi Antillón, who once directed the Chamber of Industries, will be the economy minister. A key negotiator in the free trade agreement with the United States, Anabel González, who served as vice minister of foreign trade under former president Abel Pecheco, will serve as foreign trade minister.

A current advisor to the agriculture ministry, Gloria Abrahams, has been tapped to head that ministry, and Carlos Ricardo Benavides, who served as tourism minister until he renounced his post to campaign for Chinchilla, will get his former job back.

The finance minister will be Fernando Herrero, who held the same position under former president José María Figueres between 1994 and 1996. Atlantic Port Authority (JAPDEVA) head Francisco Jiménez will preside over the Public Works and Transportation Ministry.

For more analysis of Chinchilla´s new government, see the March 19 print or digital versions of The Tico Times.

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