Spanish PM Pedro Sanchez reshuffles cabinet in run-up to local polls

International |  IANS  | Published :

Madrid, March 28 (IANS) Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has confirmed two changes to his cabinet ahead of the upcoming local elections in May.

Hector Gomez was announced to replace Reyes Maroto as ministers for industry, commerce and tourism, while Jose Manuel Minones to replace Carolina Darias as minister for health, consumer affairs and social welfare, reports Xinhua news agency.

Maroto and Darias are leaving their posts to run as the Socialist Party (PSOE) candidates for Mayor of Madrid and Las Palmas in the municipal and regional elections, to be held on May 28.

Gomez has been promoted from his former post as the president of the Constitutional Commission in the Spanish Congress, while, Milones was the government delegate in the north-western region of Galicia.

Both would be sworn into their new posts on Tuesday.

Sanchez thanked Maroto and Darias for their work during the "the worst moments" of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

He said Maroto had helped to modernize tourism, "one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic".

Meanwhile, Sanchez said Darias (who was named health minister in January 2021) had been "fundamental" in helping Spain leaving the pandemic behind, and "her name will always be linked to the successful vaccination campaign".

The Prime Minister also underlined that Gomez and Minones "are both excellent public servants, with unquestionable career trajectories and an unbending commitment to the defense of the public interest".

The May 29 polls will elect all councillors in the municipalities of Spain and all 1,038 seats in 38 provincial deputations.

The elections will be held simultaneously with regional polls in 12 autonomous communities, as well as local elections in the three foral deputations of the Basque Country, the four island councils in the Balearic Islands and the seven island cabildos in the Canary Islands.

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