January 10, 2018 / 7:52 PM / 4 months ago

Mexico's interior minister steps down

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexican Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said on Wednesday he was stepping down from his post in which he oversaw government responsibilities including security, migration and human rights.

Outgoing Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong (L) waves as newly appointed Labour Minister Roberto Campa Cifrian points out during a ceremony at Los Pinos Presidential Residence in Mexico City, Mexico January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Carlos Jasso

Osorio Chong made the announcement, which had been widely expected, at a speech in Mexico City attended by President Enrique Pena Nieto, who appointed him to the job in 2012.

Pena Nieto told an event later in the day that Labor Secretary Alfonso Navarrete, of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, would take over as interior minister.

The president thanked Osorio Chong for his service and called on Navarrete to focus on strengthening democratic governance, doubling down on efforts to fight crime and safeguarding human rights.

Slideshow (4 Images)

Osorio Chong had been one of the leading contenders for the PRI’s presidential nomination, but the party is backing former Finance Minister Jose Antonio Meade for the July election.

Resigning his Cabinet post will enable Osorio Chong to register his intention to run for the Mexican Senate during the next administration. Senior officials said privately in recent weeks that he would likely take that step.

Pena Nieto named Roberto Campa, of the New Alliance party and former undersecretary for human rights, as the new labor secretary.

Reporting by Diego Ore and Veronica Gomez; Editing by Dave Graham and Peter Cooney

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