Colombia president names recent finance minister to central bank board

BOGOTA, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Colombian President Ivan Duque on Monday named recent finance minister Alberto Carrasquilla, who resigned earlier this year after protests and lawmaker opposition sank a tax reform proposal, to the central bank board.

The 62-year-old Carrasquilla, who previously served on the board through his post as minister, replaces Carolina Soto, who resigned on Friday just before her husband Alejandro Gaviria announced he is running for president in 2022.

“I have designated the twice-finance minister, ex-deacon of economy at Los Andes University, the ex-technical head of the central bank and PhD in economy Alberto Carrasquilla as the new board member of the bank of the republic,” Duque said in an early post to Twitter.

Carrasquilla served as Duque’s finance minister from his inauguration in August 2018 until May this year. Resistance by both legislators and street protesters to the original version of tax reform, which would have raised sales tax on some items, forced the bill’s withdrawal and his resignation.

A watered-down version of the reform, which excludes the sales tax element and forces fundraising on companies, now seems likely to pass congress.

Carrasquilla also served as finance minister between 2003 and 2007 under former President Alvaro Uribe.

The board is made up for seven members - including the board’s head and the current finance minister. Board members can serve up to 12 years in their posts. (Reporting by Nelson Bocanegra Writing by Julia Symmes Cobb Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)