October 19, 2016 / 8:18 PM / a year ago

Chilean president reshuffles Cabinet ahead of local elections

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced a slight reshuffling of her Cabinet on Wednesday, a few days ahead of local elections in which her coalition is expected to suffer losses.

Center-left Bachelet replaced the ministers in charge of justice, energy and national assets, she said in a brief speech at the presidential palace in Santiago.

Voters are expected to shift rightward in the local elections this weekend, after a series of high-profile corruption scandals and a reform drive that has failed to please Chileans on both the left and right.

The former justice minister, Javiera Blanco, had been blamed by lawmakers for logistical problems that have led to inaccurate addresses of around 500,000 Chileans in the electoral register.

The energy minister replaced on Wednesday, Maximo Pacheco, was one of the more popular members of Bachelet’s Cabinet. He told journalists he had left in order to join the campaign team of Ricardo Lagos, an ex-president who is gearing up to run for the presidency once again in 2017.

The new energy minister will be Andres Rebolledo, previously in charge of the government’s trade department.

Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien; Editing by Matthew Lewis

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