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Chile's new leader Pinera names cabinet

Chile's President-elect Sebastian Pinera - 18 January 2010
Mr Pinera said he would focus on economic growth and job creation

Chile's president-elect Sebastian Pinera has named his cabinet, leaving out any figures linked with the former military ruler, Augusto Pinochet.

Instead, he has drawn on business leaders and academics from across the political spectrum.

Mr Pinera, a wealthy businessman, is the first conservative elected president since the country's return to democracy 20 years ago.

There had been concerns faces from the Pinochet era would return to office.

But Mr Pinera has opted for a cabinet packed with independents and technocrats, with no party political affiliation, says the BBC's Gideon Long in Santiago.

Only four ministers come from his own party and he even included one minister from the opposition - Jaime Ravinet, who will head the defence ministry.

Economist Felipe Larrain is to take the finance portfolio; Mr Pinera's campaign chief Rodrigo Hinzpeter is to get the interior ministry; while Alfredo Moreno is to be foreign minister.

In his election campaign, Mr Pinera said he would focus on boosting economic growth and producing jobs while continuing with the outgoing President Michelle Bachelet's social policies.

His election ended 20 years of centre-left rule in Chile.

Mr Pinera, 60, made his fortune introducing credit cards to Chile.

He went on to buy a television channel, a stake in Chile's most successful football club and millions of dollars in other investments.



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