President-Elect Announces Cabinet
Jan. 10, 1986
GUATEMALA CITY (AP) _ Vinicio Cerezo, the first civilian president-elect in 15 years, finsihed naming his Cabinet Thursday, and said the military leaders who will hand over power next week had not interfered in his choice of a defense minister.
Cerezo received 69 percent of the vote in the Dec. 8 run-off election. He takes office Tuesday as the first civilian president since 1970 and the third since 1930.
The president-elect said he chose Gen. Jaime Hernandez as defense minister because he supports democracy and believes the military should back the civilian government. Hernandez is commander of a key base in the capital.
Cerezo also named Mario Quinonez Amezcua, head of the Rafael Landivar University law school, as foreign minister; businessman Rodolfo Paiz Andrade as finance minister; and Rene de Leon Schlotter, a leader of the ruling Christian Democratic Party, as development minister.
Other Cabinet members were announced earlier.
Under the constitution adopted last year, the president is commander-in- chief of the armed forces. It also says the defense minister must come from the military.
''Should there be any doubt, I can say that there were no requirements (from the military) nor any imposition'' of a candidate, Cerezo said at a news conference.
He said Gen. Oscar Humberto Mejia Victores, who remains head of state, was ''gentlemanly'' in ''accepting the decisions and providing opinions I requested'' in choosing the military men.
Cerezo said he discussed candidates with Mejia Victores and friends in the military, then advised Mejia Victores of his decsion. The general has said repeatedly that the military will leave politics to the civilian government.