Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Peru: centrist cabinet appointed, told not to be corrupt

LIMA ( Associated Press) – Peru’s President Dina Boluarte on Saturday swore in a centrist cabinet and told its members not to be corrupt, in an apparent protest against calls for new general elections as well as calls for the resignation of the president and parliament. .

“Do you swear to God and country that you will serve loyally and honestly without acts of corruption?” This phrase was repeated by Peru’s first female president before swearing in her 17 ministers. He appointed lawyer Pedro Angulo, a former anti-corruption prosecutor, as prime minister.

The president, who in his inaugural address described corruption as a cancer that must be eradicated from the country, has also criticized his predecessor, former President Pedro Castillo, for trying to illegally dissolve parliament on Wednesday. Later removed by Congress.

Castillo, of whom Boluarte was vice president, was the first president investigated during his administration (2021–2022). Submit six inquiries, most for alleged corruption. The president said on Wednesday that he had “watched with disgust how the press and judicial bodies have reported shameful acts of plunder against the money of all Peruvians.”

Prime Minister Angulo is a professor of criminal law and sought to be the candidate for the 2021 presidential election for a short-lived centrist party that failed to register in the elections.

The President swore in Alex Contreras and Ana Gervasi, who were deputy ministers in their respective secretariats, as Minister of Economy and Chancellor. He also named his lawyer, Alberto Otarola, as Minister of Defense. Otarola took office a decade ago.

Experts confirm that the role of the new members will be necessary to raise tensions or appease a country that witnessed about 30 protests on the day, most of them minor, but some of which blocked roads.

Omar Coronel told the Associated Press, “Boluart’s knack for managing the waves of dissent and building a coalition in Congress that will keep it going will be a key variable” and at the same time a coalition that is not irrelevant to the left. , Professor of Political Science at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.

Cynthia McClintock, a professor of political science at George Washington University, said Boluiart faces “tough odds” because she lacks parliamentary support. He recalled that, like Castillo, the new president was expelled in January from the far-left party Peru Libre, for which he was elected vice president in 2021 on a presidential ticket led by Castillo.

McClintock said, “It is unclear whether he has the political savvy to craft a message that captures Peruvians’ desires for a fresh start.”

The centre-right and centre-left cabinet concerned with the provision of fertilizers for crops, with the problem of slain environmental leaders, caring for those affected by the drought and talking to people, “will greatly upset sectors of the more radical left. , that they will continue to mobilize, but it will reduce the opposition a little bit, in the sectors of the left and the center-left, “said Coronel. “He might get smaller protests,” he speculated.

Another scenario could be that in order to avoid a vacancy in the parliament, Boluaart does not form a coalition – which receives 87 votes out of 130 legislators – and that he excludes the center and center-left from the conservative or right-wing sectors. does. According to experts the effect could be the union of leftist groups, who are disgruntled, and increased protests.

“The left in particular is divided and what could help turn it into an important street actor would be for Bolluarte to ally with more right-wing sectors, where there is no longer a distinction between it and the three right-wing benches: Fujimorismo, Avanza Country and Popular Renewal. When that happens, it will be more likely that the disparate leftists who hate each other now will solve their collective action problems and form a coalition again,” Coronel said. commented.

A professor at Pontificia Universidad speculated, “Dina Boluaarte will launch not smaller protests, but larger, more permanent protests that will destabilize her government, that will also signal to Congress that she is weak and that will put her up against the wall.” ” Catholic from Peru.

Another important aspect that Boluart should take into account is the force of repression that the police have applied against the protesters all over Peru these days. “Reacting to protests with repression is another point that will likely help lead to more protests,” Coronel said.

Demonstrations have intensified across Peru since Bolluarte became president on Wednesday. Several highways were still blocked on Saturday by protesters calling for the shutdown of Congress, Bolluarte’s resignation and new elections.

About 1,000 protesters clashed with police in Lima on Friday. They called for the resignation of all Congressmen of the new president and the release of former President Castillo. Mauro Sanchez, a protester, told The Associated Press: “The Congress has kicked us out and they have made a mockery of the popular vote. Let’s take to the streets. Let’s not allow ourselves to be ruled by this mafia Congress.”

Nation World News Desk
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