2009-02-25

President Calderón proposes four independent directors for Pemex

President of the Mexican Senate, Gustavo Madero, announced President Felipe Calderón’s four proposals to form part of the board of directors of the state-owned company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

President of the Mexican Senate, Gustavo Madero, announced President Felipe Calderón’s four proposals to form part of the board of directors of the state-owned company Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

María Maeda

MEXICO CITY, Mexico – The nomination of four key independent directors for the management of the country’s oil, gas and finances is making slow progress due to party-mongering between the main Mexican political parties.

According to La Jornada, President Felipe Calderón sent his proposal for the appointment of four administrators to the Senate for ratification. They will form part of the board of directors of state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (Pemex).

The president of the Senate committee, Gustavo Madero, announced the president’s four nominees at a press conference: Fluvio César Ruiz Alarcón, for three years; Rogelio Gasca Neri, for four years; Héctor Moreira, for five years; and José Fortunato Alvarez, for six years.

However, despite the fact that some legislators strove to avoid appointments based on political parties, the president’s nominations were not unaffected by the party-mongering. With the current proposal, the National Action Party (PAN) would end up with two positions, featuring Moreira Rodríguez and Álvaro Enríquez, while the Democratic Revolution Party (PRD) managed to include Ruiz Alarcón and the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) Rogelio Gasca Neri.

The appointments came about based on the Pemex law, which came into force in November 2008 as part of the energy reform, and which establishes that the executive must propose four independent professionals for Pemex’s board of directors, and that these must be approved by the Senate, reports El Universal.

Legislators stated “that once this proposal is ratified by the Senate, there will be a new governmental structure which will act as the driving force behind the transformation of Pemex,” reports La Jornada.

Speaking to El Universal, Senator Pablo Gómez of the PRD expressed the opinion that this reform in the administrative structure of Pemex could be an extremely useful instrument to achieve growth and economic development, but warned that “this will only be achieved if all agreements are strictly adhered to”.

According to El Universal, Mexican President Calderón was criticised by the PRD because he was required to make the nominations within 30 working days of the date on which the law came into effect, which according to Gómez, fell on 13 January.

The consultancy firm IPD Latin America believes that the president’s failure to comply was due to the fact that the implementation of the energy reform has been politicised, reports El Mañana.

The head of the finance division of the consultancy firm, John Padilla, said to El Mañana that “there is clear politicisation and a power struggle in the appointment of the new members of the new board of directors of the National Hydrocarbon Commission”.

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