Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said Wednesday that he would nominate his finance minister to head the central bank, replacing him with an economic advisor.
The move came days after Lopez Obrador suffered a setback in midterm legislative elections in which his ruling party lost its absolute majority in the lower house of Congress.
Finance Minister Arturo Herrera “will be proposed as governor of the Bank of Mexico,” Lopez Obrador announced on social media, noting that the nomination must be approved by the Senate.
His replacement is Rogelio Ramirez de la O, an ally and economic consultant.
Lopez Obrador, who has vowed to overhaul Mexico’s “neoliberal” economic model, said the changes were aimed at maintaining the current economic policy in his remaining three years in office.
“It has given us very good results because despite the pandemic, the economic crisis has been overcome,” he said in a video message.
Lopez Obrador has kept a tight grip on the public purse strings during the pandemic, saying it would be imprudent to increase the national debt.
The president last month ruled out asking central bank chief Alejandro Diaz de Leon to stay on past the end of the year, saying he would be replaced by an economist with a “social dimension.”
Mexico’s economy, the second-largest in Latin America, plunged by 8.5 percent in 2020 in the worst slump in decades, although the government predicts growth of 6.5 percent this year.
Appearing alongside Lopez Obrador in the video, Ramirez de la O said that Mexico faced a “key moment” as it emerged from the pandemic and a global recession.
“We must all work together to ensure that the lessons learned during this pandemic are used to build a stronger economy that serves the entire country,” he said.