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Revolving cabinet: Humala names sixth prime minister in three years

Thursday, July 24th 2014 - 06:27 UTC
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Prime Minister Ana Jara (R) is very close to the influential First Lady, Nadine Heredia (L) Prime Minister Ana Jara (R) is very close to the influential First Lady, Nadine Heredia (L)
Outgoing PM Cornejo, only five months in office, was accused of improprieties  Outgoing PM Cornejo, only five months in office, was accused of improprieties

Peru's President Ollanta Humala has named his sixth prime minister in three years in a surprise cabinet reshuffle that elevated two core members of his ruling party after an embarrassing political scandal.

 Humala, a former military officer whose popularity is at one of its lowest levels since assuming power in July 2011, made outgoing Labor minister Ana Jara his new prime minister in an official ceremony late on Tuesday.

Jara is widely known as a close colleague of the president and influential first lady Nadine Heredia - the head of Humala's nationalist party - and has been one of the couple's most outspoken defenders since joining the cabinet in late 2011.

Humala also swore in Fredy Otarola, president of Congress and secretary general of the ruling party, as the new Labor minister. No other replacements were made.

The change comes just a week ahead of Peru's Independence Day, when presidents traditionally reshuffle their cabinets.

It follows revelations that an adviser to outgoing prime minister Rene Cornejo allegedly used public funds to try to orchestrate a campaign to discredit a political opponent.

Cornejo, whose five months as prime minister were dogged by accusations of impropriety by opposition lawmakers, has denied involvement in the alleged plan and any other wrongdoing.

Humala, a one-time left-leaning radical who has continued orthodox economic policies in power, said on Monday that he would ask anyone implicated in the scandal to step down.

“I feel embarrassed by this situation,” Humala was quoted as saying on state-run news website Andina. “We are not going to allow these types of practices in the government.”

Removing Cornejo from power might help Humala defuse outrage in Congress over the scandal as he prepares to send lawmakers a new package of economic reforms to boost sluggish economic growth.

Humala's approval rating this month was 25%, according to an Ipsos poll. Respondents cited crime and corruption as reasons for disapproval.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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  • ChrisR

    All the same these SA arseholes in power.

    I don't think they know HOW to behave, none of them.

    Jul 24th, 2014 - 12:16 pm 0
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