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The president of Peru appoints his fourth cabinet in just six months

The president of Peru, Pedro Castillo, shakes hands with the new prime minister, Aníbal Torres. / ef

This Wednesday the new prime minister, Aníbal Torres, has sworn in, who if he does not win the confidence of Parliament will have to resign and the president will have to form a fifth team

The new ministerial cabinet of the Government of Peru begins, the fourth in six months. “We want the regional governments’ agenda to be debated and discussed in order to act and work.” With these words from the Latin American president, Pedro Castillo, he has appointed his new team this Wednesday with the aim of achieving stability and putting an end to the political crisis in which the country has been immersed since the leftist leader came to power on the 28th of July. During the day, the new prime minister, lawyer Aníbal Torres, 79, was sworn in, replacing the controversial Héctor Valer – he replaced Mirtha Vásquez, who left him due to disagreements about promotions in the Police – who resigned four days after take office amid criticism for his accumulation of complaints of family violence.

Torres, from the northern Andean region of Cajamarca, was the main legal adviser to the Marxist Peru Libre party that brought Castillo to power last year. Since then he has served as head of the Ministry of Justice. The lawyer has been sworn in before the Peruvian president in a ceremony held at the Government Palace in Lima, in which six new ministers have also been appointed and twelve others have been ratified.

In this way, the remodeling of the cabinet has also included the Ministry of Health, where the doctor Hernán Condori, former regional health director of Junín and close to the founder of Peru Libre, Vladimir Cerrón, has sworn in, replacing Hernando Cevallos. The activist and member of the feminist organization Flora Tristán Diana Miloslavich has been appointed to the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations, replacing the ruling party congresswoman Katy Ugarte.

The portfolio of Justice and Human Rights has been assumed by the lawyer Ángel Yldefonso, replacing the now prime minister, and in Energy and Mines, the engineer Carlos Palacios, former official of the Regional Government of Junín, who replaces the lawyer Alessandra Herrera. The Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation will be led by the official congressman and teacher Óscar Zea, replacing the agrarian official Alberto Ramos, while the researcher Modesto Montoya will be in charge of the Environment portfolio, replacing Wilber Supo; one of the most questioned ministers in Valer’s cabinet for his lack of experience in the sector, in the midst of the environmental tragedy that the country is facing after the oil spill that occurred on January 15 at a refinery operated by Repsol in the north of Lime.

Thirty days

On the other hand, in Economy there will be Óscar Graham; in Education, Rosendo Serna; in Labor and Employment Promotion, Betsy Chávez; in Foreign Relations, César Landa; in Culture, Alejandro Salas; and in Production, Jorge Luis Prado. In addition, Foreign Trade and Tourism will be led by Roberto Sánchez; Transport and Communications, Juan Silva; Housing, Construction and Sanitation, Geiner Alvarado; and Development and Social Inclusion, Dina Boluarte. The leftist president has also ratified Alfonso Chávarry in the Interior and José Luís Gavidia in Defense, despite the controversy that their appointments unleashed last week due to accusations against them for alleged links to illicit drug trafficking and family violence, respectively.

With this reshuffle, the president launches a new attempt to appease public opinion’s doubts about his management and alleviate the tense political confrontation with the opposition, which dominates Congress and adds more and more voices in favor of his resignation or dismissal. The now prime minister will have a period of thirty days to achieve a vote of confidence in Parliament, controlled by the right-wing opposition. If he is denied, Torres will have to resign and Castillo, facing his umpteenth motion of no confidence, will be forced to form a fifth cabinet.

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