Chilean President Gabriel Boric’s confidant and Social Development Minister Giorgio Jackson resigned from his post amid a corruption probe, shaking the administration.
(Bloomberg) — Chilean President Gabriel Boric’s confidant and Social Development Minister Giorgio Jackson resigned from his post amid a corruption probe, shaking the administration.
Boric accepted the resignation late on Friday, according to a post on his Twitter account, saying Jackson’s decision was “a gesture of generosity to help improve the political climate and advance with reforms.”
“The people are tired of fights,” Boric added. “It’s time to reach agreements.”
Jackson, speaking on television, said his resignation should clear the way for Boric’s reforms.
“I am stepping aside as my presence in the cabinet has been occupied by the political opposition as an excuse for not advancing in the agreements that Chile demands,” Jackson said.
Jackson’s resignation marks the downfall of a Boric ally who, like the president, first rose to prominence as a student protest leader a decade ago. He steps aside as Chilean authorities investigate dozens of irregular money transfers from the government to private foundations run by political allies. The probes have centered on the Social Development Ministry as well as members of Jackson’s political party, but include other ministries.
READ MORE: Chile Corruption Case Represents Main Risk for President Agenda
Opposition parties were preparing a push to remove Jackson as polls show voters associating him directly with the probes into alleged corruption.
The minister’s departure may spur talks over the government’s fundamental proposals, including an overhaul of pensions and a “fiscal pact” aimed at boosting tax income. Opposition parties had said they would refuse to negotiate some key reforms as long as Jackson remained in the administration.
Jackson had previously served as Boric’s Presidential General Secretary, which is the chief liaison between the executive branch and Congress. He will now be replaced by Social Development Ministry Undersecretary Paula Poblete, the presidency said in a separate statement.
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