Peruvian Prime Minister Resigns and President Pedro Castillo Renews Cabinet

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Peru’s leftist president, Pedro Castillo, accepted the resignation of his prime minister and announced this Thursday (24) that he will reorganize his cabinet once again, amid a long battle between the executive and legislative branches of the country. country.

Former prime minister Anibal Torres, a staunch Castillo ally, challenged the opposition-controlled Congress to a confidence vote last week. But Congress declined to hold such a vote on Thursday, saying the conditions for doing so had not been met.

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“Having accepted the resignation of the prime minister, whom I thank for his work on behalf of the country, I will renew the cabinet,” Castillo said in a nationally televised speech.

The instrument of the vote of confidence aimed to put pressure on Congress in the midst of the tense relations between the two powers.

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Opposition lawmakers twice impeached Castillo but failed to oust him, although they managed to censure and dismiss several cabinet members.

“I ask Congress to respect the rule of law, the rights of the people, democracy and the balance of state powers,” added Castillo.

His presidency was marked by rotation in high government positions. Castillo is now due to name a fifth prime minister – his top adviser and spokesman – since he took office in July last year.

Confidence votes are controversial in Peru as they can have significant consequences.

If Congress had rejected the confidence vote, Torres and the entire cabinet of ministers would have been forced to resign.

But a new cabinet could then ask for a second vote of confidence which, if also denied, would allow the Executive to close Congress and call new legislative elections.

Last week, Torres said he would interpret the absence of a vote as equivalent to the rejection of the confidence vote.

Castillo stopped short of saying that Congress had rejected a confidence vote, although at least one close ally, former Commerce Minister Roberto Sanchez, said the legislature’s decision meant the policy instrument was denied.

In 2019, then-President of Peru Martin Vizcarra closed Congress and called new elections after two confidence votes denied by legislators.

Congress then passed a law limiting the situations that deserve confidence votes, which is now being tested for the first time.

Tension between the different branches of Peru’s government is common, and Peruvians have lived under five different presidents since 2016.

Source: CNN Brasil

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