In a major cabinet shakeup in Mexico, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Thursday tapped a friend, the governor of his home state of Tabasco, Adan Lopez, as interior minister, replacing the outgoing Olga Sanchez Cordero.
Sanchez, who was the first woman to occupy the role, will return to her prior post as a lawmaker in the Senate, which she left after Lopez Obrador took office in 2018.
In a video posted on Twitter, the president stood alongside Sanchez and Lopez and presented the incoming interior minister as his “friend, countryman and close companion.”
Mexico’s interior portfolio is an especially powerful cabinet post, one of several ministers responsible for security matters as well as next in line to the presidency.
Sanchez, also a former supreme court judge known for socially liberal views on abortion and marijuana legalization, thanked Lopez Obrador and said she remained committed to his political project. She did not specify her reasons for resigning the cabinet post.
“From the Senate of the republic, Mr. President, I will continue from the legislative field, consolidating this national project, this great transformation of public life in Mexico,” said Sanchez, echoing the president’s oft-repeated description of his agenda.
The ruling party’s senate leader Ricardo Monreal said in a statement the party was happy with Sanchez’s decision and welcomed her back to Congress.