Peru’s president rejects prime minister’s resignation – 05/08/2022 – World

The president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, said this Friday (5) that he did not accept the resignation request of his prime minister, Aníbal Torres, filed two days ago. With this, the Peruvian leader will not have to seek a new vote of confidence from Congress, eliminating an important risk. It is uncertain whether the Peruvian will change his entire cabinet again, as the changes were conditioned to the departure of the current prime minister.

Castillo’s decision comes after a series of meetings during the day between the president and important names in Peruvian politics. Two of them had been with ministers from previous administrations, in a sign that the president is trying to expand his political field.

“I did not accept the resignation of Prime Minister Aníbal Torres, who promises to continue working for our country,” Castillo wrote on his Twitter account.

On Wednesday, when he resigned as prime minister, Torres claimed “personal problems.” He was in the federal administration from the beginning, initially as Minister of Justice, and took over as Prime Minister in February, as a kind of peacemaker in articulation with Congress. Those six months made him the longest-serving incumbent in Castillo’s term, which began in July last year.

Although the rejection of the resignation removes the need for Castillo to rename the entire cabinet, the Peruvian press takes for granted the change of some names. Shortly after the news about Torres, the president announced that Oscar Graham will leave the Ministry of Finance, giving way to Kurt Burneo – a center-left name who was deputy minister in the presidency of Alejandro Toledo and head of the Central Bank.

On Thursday (4), Castillo invited politicians from other parties to join the government. “I open this space to the other political parties so that once and for all we can create a broad-based cabinet to work for Peru,” he told reporters.

Other parties, however, have not yet expressed whether they will accept to enter the government. Non-party deputy Carlos Anderson mocked the president’s statements. “What decent person goes to the cabinet of a government that is facing so many accusations?” he asked Peruvian newspaper El Comercio.

The president has five inquiries running against him. Among the possible crimes investigated by the Public Ministry are alleged corruption schemes in public works and influence peddling in a fuel purchase contract. Polls show that it is disapproved by 74% of voters.

In the midst of wear and tear, he is also the target of investigation for plagiarism in his master’s thesis. Peruvian presidents can be investigated while in office, but legislation prevents them from being charged.

Last year, Castillo had a vote of rejection of traditional politicians, in the midst of a crisis of representation before the election. Of the last four elected, only one president was able to finish his term without resigning or being impeached.

Unlike his predecessors, the leftist seems to be protected from the vacancy process due to the fact that Congress is fragmented and has not managed, so far, to gather the 87 votes (out of 130 deputies) necessary to take him out of the game – although there has not been a lack of attempts.

In one year of power, the Peruvian leader changed parties after being accused by his former co-religionists of not having put into practice the party’s program or having fulfilled electoral promises. The acronym even came to declare opposition to the government.

As if the crisis could not get worse, the country’s Congress has denied authorization for Castillo to participate in the inauguration ceremony of Gustavo Petro in Colombia next Sunday (7).

Peruvian law says the head of state needs permission to travel abroad, but the request by Castillo, a conservative leftist with a populist bent, was blocked by the opposition-dominated parliament by 67 votes to 42 (and 5 abstentions). This will be the first time in three decades that a president has seen his expectations of traveling on official mission dashed.

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