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Montevideo, October 6th 2022 - 18:04 UTC



No Premier resignation by cabinet reshuffled anyway in Peru

Saturday, August 6th 2022 - 11:17 UTC
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Congress Speaker Lady Camones said Castillo's resignation would be “the ideal scenario” Congress Speaker Lady Camones said Castillo's resignation would be “the ideal scenario”

Peru's President Pedro Castillo Terrones Friday declined Premier Aníbal Torres' resignation, who will therefore remain in his post. But the head of state did make some cabinet reshuffling involving six ministries anyway.

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Amid tensions between the Executive and the one-house Congress, Castillo swore in six new cabinet members.

“I have not accepted the resignation of the premier, Aníbal Torres, who is committed to continuing to work for our country,” Castillo wrote in a brief message on Twitter.

Torres, who took office as prime minister in February, presented his resignation this Wednesday alleging “personal reasons” and announced it was his turn to return to his teaching.

Torres' intended departure meant all other ministers were to follow suit and a new government would need to be formed. By rejecting Torres' resignation, Castillo dodges going through a Congressional vote of confidence after the Legislature said he was so deeply involved in corruption that he might try to flee the country if he was allowed to attend Colombian President Gustavo Petro's inauguration.

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At around 10 pm local time Friday, Castillo swore in six ministers, some who were already part of the government, others who had been part of it, and also three newcomers.

“The premier put his position at his disposal, and that is telling the president to evaluate his work. He has evaluated his work and has asked him to continue developing it within the Government. It was not an irrevocable resignation, the president has asked him to continue accompanying him,” Labor Minister Alejandro Salas explained.

The new minister of Economy and Finance is University Professor and former minister under Ollanta Humala (2011-2016) Kurt Burneo, who replaces Oscar Graham.

Miguel Ángel Rodríguez is replacing César Landa as foreign minister. Salas himself hopped from Culture to Labor and Employment Promotion, replacing Juan Lira. Geiner Alvarado moved from Housing to Transportation and Communications, replacing Juan Barranzuela, and César Paniagua takes over at Housing. Salas' vacancy at Culture has been filled by Bettsy Chávez, who has already been censured by the Parliament when at the helm of Labor.

Congress Speaker Lady Camones said Castillo's resignation would be “the ideal scenario” and that his departure would respond to a “national feeling.” Castillo is under investigation by the Attorney General's Office in five separate corruption scandals.

In addition to his ministerial maneuvering, Castillo sent a letter to Colombia's President-elect Gustavo Petro regretting his absence at his inauguration Sunday. Peru will be represented by Vice-President Dina Boularte.

“Circumstances beyond my control prevent me from accompanying you in the significant and historic ceremony of the presidential inauguration on August 7, in Bogota,” Castillo wrote to Petro.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard, who met with Castillo Thursday as part of his tour of the region, regretted the situation through his Twitter account: ”I regret that President Pedro Castillo has not been authorized (...) high-level meetings will be held there to address the inflation-recession, the food crisis and the new health risks. We will miss Peru.“

Chilean Foreign Minister Antonia Urrejola concurred: ”I regret that President Pedro Castillo must be absent from the change of command of Gustavo Petro in Colombia. There are few opportunities to get together to discuss the challenges we face as a region,” she tweeted.

Categories: Politics, Latin America.

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