Chile faces controversy over reshaping role of first lady

Placeholder while loading article actions

SANTIAGO – Chile’s new, left-leaning government is abolishing the position of first lady in an attempt to change a role that both the president and his partner have described as outdated.

The government said in a press release on Wednesday that the first lady will now be known as the “Social and Cultural Coordinator of the Presidency of the Republic.”

The administration of President Gabriel Borek acquired this title after having to back off an attempt to give this role a change by announcing the change of the office formerly known as the “Cabinet of the First Lady” to “Irina Karamanos’ Office”, using the name from the partner of the president.

The move, announced on Tuesday, quickly drew accusations from many members of the opposition that the government is trying to personalize an institutional role in the government.

Government spokeswoman Camila Vallejo said the change amounted to an “administrative error” and that a reference to “Cabinet Irina Karamanos” had been removed from the Executive’s website on Wednesday morning.

“Our main interest is moving forward with our commitment to changing the role,” Karamanos wrote on Twitter explaining the change.

Borek, who was sworn in at 36, was Chile’s youngest-ever president in March, and Karamanos had spoken publicly of their desire to reshape the office of the first lady.

In January, Karamanos said she agreed to take on the role “traditionally called first lady, with a commitment to recast it”.

Leave a Comment