The resignation of Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos’ entire cabinet has nothing to do with the president’s alleged ambition to run for a second term in 2014 or his low approval ratings, said the resigned interior minister Thursday.
According to Minister Federico Renjifo, a close ally of the president, Santos “has arrived at the middle of his presidential term, wants a recompilation that brings cohesion to the team, that gives it new dimensions to end the remainder of the presidential term, to assure the goals we have worked towards over the past two years.”
Renjifo told television network RCN that “the president has also said that he is not thinking of a reelection until next year when he will clearly state whether or not” he aspires a second term.
Santos himself announced on Twitter that the first changes in his administration would be made public later in the afternoon.
Wednesday’s voluntary resignation of the cabinet was followed by a storm of speculation in Colombian media who attributed the radical shuffle in Santos’ government to his aspirations to run for the 2014-2018 presidency, upcoming peace talks with the country’s largest guerrilla group FARC and the increasing criticism Santos receives from his predecessor Alvaro Uribe.