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A cabinet reshuffle is an important political instrument for any national leader. In a fully presidential system the head of state is constrained by the need to secure ratification from the legislature. In a parliamentary system like ours, in contrast, the president has a pretty free hand in removing and installing ministers.

Shuffles allow a leader to change the public image of the government, to kick out the insolent or incompetent, and to reward political allies. But a leader is also obliged to balance factions, ideological blocs, age and gender profiles and regional interests. Such multidimensional reconfiguration puzzles do not have one correct resolution: a president’s political judgment is key...

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