Peru's embattled president names fifth PM in 16 months

She must request a parliamentary vote of confidence within 30 days before formally taking office



Peruvian President Pedro Castillo (Photo: AFP)
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo (Photo: AFP)

By AFP

Published: Sat 26 Nov 2022, 10:35 AM

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo on Friday appointed the culture minister as the country's prime minister after her predecessor resigned over a row with parliament.

Betssy Chavez, a 33-year-old lawyer who also did a stint as labour minister, was sworn in as the fifth prime minister since the beleaguered Castillo took office 16 months ago.

The pair reshuffled the cabinet after former premier Anibal Torres quit on Thursday amid an ongoing clash between the leftist Castillo and the conservative-controlled parliament.

Castillo, in power since July 2021, has already faced two impeachment attempts in parliament and is under investigation in six corruption cases, including accusations against his family and political entourage.

"For the respect to the rule of law and the restitution of the balance and separation of powers, I do swear", said Chavez when she took her oath before Castillo, an allusion to the confrontation between the president and parliament.

Chavez herself is facing a preliminary investigation by Peru's prosecutor's office into allegations of misuse of power and hiring close associates for public positions.

She must request a parliamentary vote of confidence within 30 days before formally taking office.

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The new cabinet includes 12 ministers whose portfolios have been confirmed, with Cesar Landa taking over foreign affairs, the interior ministry going to Willy Huerta, Daniel Barragan taking defense and Kurt Burneo handling the economy.

All but Burneo were sworn in at a Friday night ceremony at the Government Palace in Lima. The new minister of economy and finance took part via videoconference as he is isolating after testing positive for Covid-19.

Earlier this month, thousands marched in the capital to demand the removal of former rural school teacher Castillo, who unexpectedly took power from Peru's traditional political elite.

Castillo has denounced the charges against him as politically motivated and enjoys immunity until the end of his term in July 2026.


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