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Montevideo, November 29th 2022 - 14:12 UTC



Peru: fractured cabinet, lame duck PM or a patient wolf in waiting?

Wednesday, August 4th 2021 - 09:57 UTC
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The new Economy minister Pedro Francke, has pledged no expropriations and free money exchange markets The new Economy minister Pedro Francke, has pledged no expropriations and free money exchange markets

Peruvian president Pedro Castillo seems to have weathered two political storms involving his Economy and Justice ministers, Pedro Francke, and Anibal Torres acknowledged as outstanding figures in the country, but who refused to join the cabinet because of differences with cabinet chief Guido Bellido, described as a radical left-winger.

In effect Bellido who belongs to the most radical wing of Castillo's party, Free Peru, has been the target of much criticism because of his apology of terrorism (there is an ongoing judicial investigation) and for homophobic and misogynic statements in social networks.

“In the name of a sustained advance and good living standard, for the equality of opportunities without distinction of gender, for democracy and national conciliation, I swear”, finally said Francke when he took the oath of office. He is moderate left, PhD economist who graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University of Lima, and has been the economic advisor of Castillo since the runoff last June.

President Castillo who had to deal with the consequences of a seism in a Peruvian province and the collapse of financial markets because of the cabinet differences, finally managed to convince his reluctant future ministers, following on the open publication by PM Bellido of a release reassuring his commitment to democracy, governance and human rights and a categorical rejection of “ all forms of violence and terrorism in all its extremes”

Bellido also agreed to his commitment with the full equality of gender and the eradication of racisms, classism, 'macho' policies and homophobia which is still deeply rooted in the Pervuvian society“. However not everybody is convinced and several members of the new Congress have demanded his resignation, ”for the good of the country“.

In one of his first statements, minister Francke said ”we need to urgently recover jobs respecting private property, ensuring the good functioning of markets, promotion of private and government investments“. He added, ”from the cabinet we shall defend the need to clearly separate the government from the party, acknowledging always that this is an indispensable political base which is geared to reconcile people and strengthen democracy”, in a clear reference to Vladimir Cerrón, another Marxist advisor of president Castillo and who has been indicted for corruption.

Besides his unbinding adherence to democracy, Francke also pledged to combat homophobia and promised full support against the murderers of Shining Path (which ravaged Peru during two decades killing tens of thousands and displacing millions of peasants), “in line with the public commitment of our prime minister”, who at some point was an apologist of the terrorist movement.

Several analysts of Peruvian politics pointed out that despite the conciliatory remarks, the fact remains that it is a fractioned cabinet, with strong discrepancies between PM Bellido and moderate members.

Likewise regarding Torres, a former Justice minister Ana Neyra said “it will be interesting to see what Torres position is regarding a Constitutional Assembly to re'-draft the constitution, which was one of Castillo's electoral pledges”, but is rejected by a percentage of members from Congress.

Professor Francke is not new to politics, from 2011 to 2016 he was the manager of the Social Health Security which is responsible for the management of government hospitals in Peru.

He again repeated this Monday that “we will make no expropriations, no taking over of companies or assets by the State, no money exchange controls, which means all Peruvians will be allowed to sell and buy foreign currency and take their dollars out of the country if they so wish. Yes, definitively we are for a change, we want the popular economies to advance and prosper, and that, and jobs will be the priorities of the Castillo administration”

Categories: Politics.

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