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La Tercera, May 7, 2015
Hoping to hit the reset button on her slumping presidency, Chile's Michelle Bachelet has decided to dump not just one or two ministers, but her entire cabinet.
Bachelet made the stunning announcement during a Wednesday evening television interview, saying she “requested the resignation of all the ministers” and will take 72 hours to sort out replacements and make final decisions about “who will stay and who will go."
The “unusual and surprising change of direction,” as the daily La Tercera described it in Thursday’s front page headline, comes amidst a whirlwind of scandals that have eroded public faith in the political system as a whole and sent Bachelet’s approval rating to a new low — 31% at last count.
One of the scandals involves the president’s son, Sebastian Davalos, who is being investigated for possible influence peddling in relation to a lucrative land deal brokered by his wife. Separate inquiries into corporate tax fraud and illegal campaign financing, meanwhile, have muddied the reputations of several leading figures in Chile’s conservative opposition.
Bachelet first held the presidency from 2006-2010. She returned to office in March 2014, promising wide-reaching reforms to Chile’s education and political systems.
ABOUT THE SOURCE: La Tercera ("The Third One") is a daily newspaper published in Santiago, Chile and owned by Copesa. It was founded in 1950 and is El Mercurio"s closest competitor.