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Prime minister's resignation adds to Peru's political crisis

Bnamericas Published: Saturday, November 26, 2022
Prime minister's resignation adds to Peru's political crisis

Peru's political crisis has added another chapter with the resignation of prime minister Aníbal Torres, as his replacement, Betssy Chávez, may strain President Pedro Castillo's relationship with congress even more. 

Chávez, who was censured by congress when she was minister of labor, is one of the few remaining public officials who still stands by Castillo and has supported his controversial reforms, such as banning labor outsourcing.

Torres' resignation forces Castillo to renew his cabinet just as the ministry of economy and finance and the energy and mines ministry were projecting calm to the markets by promoting private investment and opposing the prohibition on labor outsourcing and the bill to empower labor unions in collective bargaining agreements.

Chávez, who also served as culture minister, was previously censured for her lack of qualifications for the position – even members of her own party voted against her She's currently being investigated by the public prosecutor's office for influence peddling.

Lawmaker María del Carmen Alva, former speaker of the unicameral congress, told local media that Chávez "must be the best friend, the conceited one in the cabinet for them to give her the premiership. She is going to sacrifice herself in exchange for the famous silver bullet. She is a provocation."

But congress may want to proceed cautiously: A second vote of no confidence would give Castillo, under the constitution, the power to call elections to choose new lawmakers. 

With Torres' departure, the Castillo administration has run through 74 ministers who took office only to leave via resignations, cabinet changes or censorship. The list is expected to grow once the current reshuffle is complete.

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