May 27, 2022

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Peru's Congress decides whether to vote of confidence in the Castillo government

Peru’s Congress decides whether to vote of confidence in the Castillo government

First Amendment:

Five (AFP)

Peru’s Congress, controlled by the right-wing opposition, will resume a polarizing debate on Friday to decide whether or not to give confidence to the ministerial government of new leftist president Pedro Castillo.

If Parliament denies this, Castillo will have to appoint another prime minister, to replace engineer Guido Peledo, and reorganize the government, which will affect the government’s agenda and prolong the uncertainty already affecting the Peruvian economy.

The vote is scheduled after the intervention of 30 deputies who did not participate on Thursday.

The heated debate began Thursday morning, after Peledo presented to the three-hour plenary the plans of the administration that took office a month ago, but the session was suspended overnight after 11 hours.

“Our immediate goals are to defeat the epidemic produced by the Covid-19 virus and to revitalize our economy,” said Peledo, who appeared before Congress with the other 18 cabinet members.

Peledo did not mention Castillo’s key electoral promise to call for a Constituent Assembly to draft a new constitution, a proposal that his opponents resisted.

After his presentation, the 124 lawmakers – out of a total of 130 – began the debate in a tense atmosphere that has continued since the June 6 ballot campaign, when Castillo narrowly defeated right-winger Keiko Fujimori.

A demonstration in front of the Peruvian Congress in support of the Castillo government and his government, in Lima, on August 26, 2021 Ernesto Benavidez, AFP

– ‘You have votes’ –

The ruling party and its allies got 57 votes, out of the 66 votes needed to confirm the government, and a similar number of parliament members intend to deny the confidence, according to local media.

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For this reason, an arbitrator vote is expected, although analyst Augusto Alvarez Rodrić expects the government to pass the test.

“The government has the votes to get confidence,” the analyst told AFP, whose eventual backing from Congress will respond more to the strategic interest in avoiding fueling confrontation with the executive branch.

“Congress does not want to give the government tools to be able to solve it so quickly, when it has just begun its five-year term,” Alvarez Rodrić said.

If lawmakers refuse to give confidence to the same government twice, the constitution authorizes the president to dissolve Congress and call extraordinary parliamentary elections.

– “fairy tale” –

This is the first test of the Castillo government, which took power on July 28 after a five-year clash between the executive and the legislature, while uncertainty clouds the Peruvian economy, which is trying to leave behind the harmful effects of the epidemic. .

Disagreements between the new government and the opposition cost him his job as Foreign Minister Hector Bigard, a former guerrilla fighter and sociologist. He was replaced by Oscar Martua, a career diplomat with no connection to the left who held the position in 2006.

However, Castillo’s opponents expected him to make further changes to his cabinet before submitting to a vote of confidence, something the president rejected.

Peledo’s appointment was heavily questioned by the opposition and some leaders of opposition groups expected their parties to deny confidence.

The speech was a fairy tale […]. “We are not in a position to have a vote of confidence,” said legislator Jorge Montoya, a retired admiral and chair of the far-right People’s Party’s seat body, Renovacion Popular.

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“It is impossible to give the cabinet a second of confidence,” said Hernando Guerra Garcia, president of the Fujimorista Fierza Popolar group.

Instead, the ruling party urged Valdemar Cerrone to vote for “a demonstration that we are fighting corruption and injustice.”

– Deep peoples –

A bitter election campaign, a six-week delay in announcing the winner, and questioning of ministers increased tension in Peru, sending the dollar up and the stock market down.

“With or without a vote of confidence, it does not in any way alter the enormous interest of business in the economic outlook for Peru,” Alvarez Rodrić said.

Peledo, a native of the Andean region of Cusco – the capital of the ancient Inca Empire – started his exhibition speaking Quechua and Aymara, the ancestral languages ​​that are still spoken by about five million of the 33 million Peruvians and are official languages ​​alongside Spanish.

This led Congresswoman, opposition member Maria del Carmen Alva, to boycott him and tell him to speak only Spanish so all lawmakers could understand him.

Peledo, who continued to introduce him in Spanish, replied, “This is a sign that even our country did not understand that there are deep peoples with cultures and languages ​​​​of various sectors.”