Chile President Ricardo Lagos on Monday said he would reshuffle seven of 18 portfolios, the third time he has reorganized the cabinet after taking office in March 2000.
For the defense ministry, Lagos appointed Michelle Bachelet, a specialist on military affairs who was in the Health Ministry.
Bachelet, daughter of Air Force General Alberto Bachelet, who died in prison in March 1974 as victim of torture for opposing the regime of former military leader Augusto Pinochet, is the first woman to take over the post.
In the ministry of the presidency, Lagos placed Mario Fernandez, who was in charge of the defense ministry. The post of health minister is occupied by doctor Osvaldo Artaza, who is famous for his successful operation to separate Siamese twins some years ago.
Lagos also promoted deputy Foreign Minister Heraldo Munoz to the interior department, in substation of Claudio Huepe.
Javier Etcheberry, who was the director of internal taxes, will be in charge of the infrastructure, communications and transportation ministry, after the resignation of Carlos Cruz.
The president also announced that Alejandra Krauss stepped down as planning and cooperation minister, with Cecilia Perez substituting for her in the post.
Alfonso Dulanto will move from the economy ministry to the mining ministry.
Chile's ruling coalition of Lagos narrowly won parliamentary elections but lost its control over the Senate in 2001 December. The elections were considered the first major test for Lagos' government.
Lagos previously denied the reshuffle was related to the elections, and said the adjustment was for coping with the mission 's new phase.