EconomyFinancialPresident Duque appoints María Ximena Lombana as the new...

President Duque appoints María Ximena Lombana as the new Minister of Commerce

He enters to replace José Manuel Restrepo, who passed to the Ministry of Finance.

This Thursday, President Iván Duque announced through Twitter that he appointed María Ximena Lombana as the new Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, a position that José Manuel Restrepo left vacant, when he was transferred to the Ministry of Finance, after the departure of Alberto Carrasquilla .

The direction of the Commerce office was left to see after the first president was criticized for the assignment of Juan Alberto Londoño, former Vice Minister of Finance, as head of the portfolio left by José Manuel Restrepo. For public opinion, it was unthinkable that Duque would leave someone in the cabinet who helped to design the tax reform that brought citizens to the streets demanding his retirement.

Precisely because of the massive mobilizations, the president decided to withdraw the tax bill on May 2 and the next day (May 3) the departure of Alberto Carrasquilla from the Ministry of Finance and his entire team, including Londoño, was announced.

Read: Alberto Carrasquilla resigned from the Ministry of Finance this Monday.

With the announcement of the arrival of Lombana, the name of the former deputy minister is completely discarded. The new head of the portfolio is a lawyer with master’s degrees in International Business Law and Commercial Law.

María Ximena Lombana has served as plenipotentiary minister in the Colombian embassies in Spain and France, first secretary of the Colombian Mission to the United Nations (Vienna), manager of the IDB Executing Unit at the National Legal Defense Agency, Secretary General of the Ministry of the Interior and Bancóldex, among other positions.

With his arrival, likewise, President Duque, after four months, balances his cabinet to comply with Law 581 of 2000, which requires a 30% quota of women in senior administrative positions. After the departure of Alicia Arango (Ministry of the Interior) and Carmen Vásquez (Ministry of Culture), two men were appointed, Daniel Palacios and Felipe Buitrago, respectively, so the quota barely reached 27%.

Now, with the appointment of Vice President Marta Lucía Ramírez as Chancellor, since Claudia Blum resigned last week, and Lombana as Minister of Commerce, the president complies with the quota and has 33% women in the cabinet.

Also read: Marta Lucía Ramírez, new Foreign Minister of Colombia

The new minister, sister of Álvaro Uribe’s substitute lawyer, Jaime Lombana, in the case of procedural fraud taking place in the Prosecutor’s Office, comes at a time of erosion of the Government, which in more than 20 days of national strike has not managed to prevent the situation and, on the contrary, it has been pointed out in the country and internationally to suppress social protest.

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Due to the same wear and tear, experts look at the appointment as chancellor of the vice president as a nod to bring the conservatives closer to the governing coalition. And now that of Lombana as a strategy to keep Radical Change close, since the new minister is close to Germán Vargas Lleras.

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