Whether El Salvador's new president Mauricio Funes will succeed in bringing positive change in the country, will partly depend on the competence of the people who come to lead the divisions of El Salvador's government as part of his cabinet. Our friends at Voices on the Border described a portion of the incoming cabinet:
On May 26, President-elect Funes named the members of the Economic cabinet. Those announced were Héctor Dada Hirezi as minister of the Economy, Alex Segovia as Technical Secretary, Carlos Acevedo as president of the Central Reserve Bank and Carlos Cáceres as head of the Treasury department. The new Economic cabinet has thus far maintained that it would keep the dollar as El Salvador’s official currency, a topic that has been controversial among government officials and citizens since the dollar was introduced in 2001. Other plans include creating more economic transparency, a development bank within the Central Reserve Bank, and a mechanism to ensure that the large “informal sector” of the economy pays taxes.
Also announced by Funes and his advisors recently were Gerson Martínez as minister of Public Works, Manuel Sevilla as minister of Agriculture, Manuel Melgar as minister of Security, Victoria Marina de Avilés as minister of Labor, María Isabel Rodríguez as minister of Health, and José Napoléon Duarte (the son) as the minister of Tourism. News sources have reported that the president is considering Francisco Cáceres as Private Secretary and David Rivas as Communications Secretary. It has been reported as well that Vice President-elect Sánchez Cerén would be also serving as the Minister of Education (MINED). David Mungía Payés has been chosen to be the new minster of Defense. Cabinet announcements have already aroused controversy amongst FMLN party members, and it may be difficult for Funes to negotiate further choices with the FMLN base.
You can read about the cabinet members and their qualifications on this page at El Faro's website.
I think it's hard not to be impressed with the Funes' cabinet selections. This is not an administration made up of FMLN party faithful whose only qualification is long service to the cause. While there are certainly FMLN stalwarts in the cabinet -- such as Manuel Melgar as Minister of Public Security and Salvador Sanchez Ceren as Minister of Education as well as Vice-President -- there are also highly qualified advisors taking posts in the Funes' administration, particularly in economic roles.