The Minister of Housing and Territorial Planning, Irene Moreira, resigned his position this Friday afternoon. The hierarch announced her decision at a press conference after the scandal over an award of a house without a lottery to a militant from Open Town Hall (CA), his political party. “I would make the same decision again,” he said.
Moreira’s resignation occurs in the midst of a deep crisis within the government coalition, where the president Luis Lacalle Pou requested –and later ratified– the resignation of the official, which caused the leader of CA, Guido Manini Riosand other representatives of the space will publicly state that they are analyzing the possibility of leaving the coalition, something that they will decide next Monday at a meeting of the party’s political table.
In addition, the outgoing minister announced that will return to his bench as senator in it Parliament of Uruguay, to which he agreed in the 2019 elections –with the end of his term in 2025–. “From next Monday I will return to work tirelessly, side by side, from Parliament,” he confirmed. Meanwhile, the retired military will leave the premises Raul Lozanowho served as a substitute since March 2020, when Moreira landed in the Executive Power.
At the press conference, the chief reviewed her management at the helm of Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning (MVOT) and explained: “We have not acted in these three years outside of the current regulations. No law has been violated here, no political conditioning has been done and no citizen in particular has benefited.”
In this sense, he added: “If they ask me today, I would make the same decision, protected by the regulatory framework. Nobody gave him anything, he will have to pay for it for 30 years,” she added.
How the scandal that led to the resignation of the minister was born
The trigger for the government crisis was the granting of housing directly to a lobbyist militant. At the end of 2021, the MVOT opened a call to deliver homes with up to three bedrooms there through a raffle, however, the minister would have left the “reserved space” in question.
Moreira’s secretary, roel bottarisent an email to the national director of Housing, Jorge Cerettaexplaining that it was in the minister’s interest that one of those two-bedroom apartments in the building be awarded directly to Píriz Ciria.
“Good morning, It is of interest to Minister Dr. Irene Moreira, that the reserved space in the New York esq. yi of two bedrooms is awarded to Mónica Mabel Píriz Ciria and her daughter. His ID number is XXXXX and his phone number is XXXXX. Thank you very much in advance,” the email read.
The resignation request unleashed a government crisis before the possible departure of Cabildo Abierto
When the news broke, President Lacalle Pou summoned the minister to explain the situation. At her exit, Moreira affirmed that the president supported her, but the presidential silence began to last as hours passed. This Friday, due to the discomfort of the National Party (PN), the head of state asked him to resign, which unleashed the internal crisis.
Cabildo Abierto requested that the decision be reconsidered, given that the minister’s actions, according to them, did not have any element outside the regulations of the portfolio, but Lacalle Pou ratified his request for resignation. Now, it remains to be seen what defines the political table of the Manini Ríos space on Monday.
In recent times, CA has shown itself to be more and more distant from government decisions, such as the discussion for the social security reform. His departure could imply a major setback for Multicolor Coalitionwhich is currently in a slightly unfavorable scenario in the polls with respect to the Broad Front (FA).
What does the resolution that the Cabildo Abierto relies on says
After the brief press conference led by Guido Manini Rios, Open Town Hall (CA) shared the resolution Ministry of Housing and Territorial Planning (MVOT) —which, at that time, also included Environment- in which they rely to insist that the direct delivery of a home by the minister Irene Moreira was adjusted to legal procedures.
The Resolution 1058 dates from October 5, 2009 and establishes the convenience of “reserve a place in the total number of housing solutions to be awarded in the programs of the National Housing Directorate”. The agency’s proposal was for a minimum quota of 10% of the total number of initiatives that would be applied in accordance with the procedures established by the housing programs.
Likewise, the document indicates that “the reservation of the quota may be maintained for sectors that need a housing solution, receiving family income less than or equal to the Poverty Line and others that, for technically well-founded reasons, are not in a position to meet with the requirements established in the corresponding calls of the different programs”.