Peru’s president replaces prime minister in cabinet reshuffle

  • Prime Minister Angulo out after just 1 week
  • The cabinet reshuffle follows the resignation of two ministers
  • Ministers resign after protesters are killed

LIMA, Dec 18 (Reuters) – Peru’s President Dina Boluarte, who is leading an interim government after the ouster of her predecessor, will replace the prime minister in a reshuffle of her cabinet, she said on Sunday.

Boluarte served as vice president until earlier this month, when her predecessor, former President Pedro Castillo, was removed from office and then arrested after illegally attempting to dissolve Congress.

Since taking on the new role, Boluarte’s government has been rocked by political turmoil and widespread protests, which have left 20 people dead and six others killed after incidents related to roadblocks, authorities said.

The protests, which have hit the Andean country worst in years, threaten to disrupt Peru’s economy and political stability and hurt investor confidence in the world’s second-largest copper producer.

The cabinet changes will take place on Monday and Tuesday, Boluarte told America Television’s Cuarto Poder news program on Sunday. The reshuffle follows the resignation of their education and culture ministers, who have left over the deaths during the protests.

Boluarte said in a press conference on Saturday that the move was driven by the need to “have knowledgeable ministers in each sector”.

She has not indicated a possible successor to Pedro Angulo, who has only been prime minister for a week.

“No one can have a minister who learns on the job,” Boluarte said. “This is an interim government, we must act quickly.”

Boluarte added that the new cabinet, which will work with the opposition-led Congress, will be “a bit more political”.

“We’re going to transform the cabinet, maybe it’s going to be a more technical cabinet, but also one that’s a bit more political, to be able to create those bridges for dialogue,” Boluarte said.

Former President Castillo frequently clashed with Congress, which conducted two unsuccessful impeachment trials against him. After Castillo attempted to dissolve Congress, a third passed overwhelmingly.

Castillo, who is to remain in pre-trial detention for 18 months while he is investigated on charges of rebellion and conspiracy, has accused Congress, which he says is led by Peru’s elites, of forcing him into action.

Since his ouster, protesters – some supporters of Castillo, the former teacher and son of peasant farmers, others unhappy with the current government – have taken to the streets, blocking roads and closing some major airports for days.

The Congress, seen as corrupt and self-serving, is deeply unpopular with Peruvians. According to pollster Datum, only 11% agree with Parliament.

Reporting by Marco Aquino; writing from Kylie Madry; Edited by Paul Simao and Christian Schmollinger

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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