January 17, 2018 / 2:41 AM / 3 years ago

Guatemalan president reshuffles cabinet halfway through term

FILE PHOTO: Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales addresses the 72nd United Nations General Assembly at U.N. Headquarters in New York, U.S., September 19, 2017. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File Photo

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) - Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales reshuffled his cabinet on Tuesday, changing his ministers for the environment, the economy and social development as he reached the halfway point of his four-year term.

Presidential spokesman Heinz Hiemann said Acisclo Valladares would take on the economy portfolio from Victor Asturias, Alcides Obregon would replace Enio Galicia at social development and Alonzo Vargas would step in for Sydney Samuels in environment.

Hiemann gave few details on the reasons for the changes but said Galicia was being replaced for poor implementation of the budget, Samuels because he wanted to step down and that Valladares had the “necessary experience” for the job.

Morales has been under pressure in Guatemala since a U.N.-backed anti-corruption body attempted to impeach him for engaging in alleged campaign finance irregularities in 2015. Morales has denied the accusations.

Working with the attorney general’s office, the International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala (CICIG) attempted to strip Morales of his immunity in September, but fell short of the required two-thirds majority in Congress.

Reporting by Sofia Menchu; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

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