Peru's Castillo to reshuffle Cabinet after resignation

Peru's Castillo to reshuffle Cabinet after resignation

President Pedro Castillo talks to Prime Minister Anibal Torres as they attend a press conference at the Presidential Palace in Lima, Peru on October 11, 2022. The resignation of his prime minister has been accepted by MARTIN MEJIA AP LIMA - Peruvian President Pedro Castillo and will reshuffle his Cabinet once again, he said on Thursday, amid a long battle between the executive and legislative branches.

The former prime minister Anibal Torres, a staunch ally of Castillo, challenged the opposition-controlled Congress to a confidence vote last week. Congress wouldn't hold a vote on Thursday and said conditions for it had not been met.

Castillo said in an national television broadcast that he will renew the cabinet after accepting the resignation of the prime minister, whom I thank for his work on behalf of the country.

The confidence vote challenge was meant to pressure Congress amid tense relations between the two branches of government.

The Opposition lawmakers have twice impeached Castillo but failed to oust him, even though they have managed to censure and fire several Cabinet members.

Castillo called for Congress to respect the rule of law, the rights of the people, democracy and the balance of state powers.

His presidency has been marked by turnover in senior government positions. Castillo is going to name a fifth prime minister - his top adviser and spokesperson since taking office in July last year.

Confidence votes in Peru can have a lot of consequences.

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If Congress had a vote of no confidence, Torres and the entire Cabinet would have to resign.

A second confidence vote, if denied, would allow the executive to shut down Congress and call for new legislative elections.

Torres said last week that he would interpret a lack of a vote as the equivalent of a no-confidence vote.

Castillo stopped short of saying that Congress had issued a vote of no confidence, although at least one close ally, former commerce minister Roberto Sanchez, said the legislature's decision meant confidence had been withheld.

In the year 2019 Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra shut down Congress and called for new elections after two no-confidence votes.

The law that limits the situations that merit confidence votes was passed by Congress, which is now being tested for the first time.

There is a common tension between the different branches of Peru's government, and since 2016 Peruvians have lived under five different presidents.