Peru’s new President Boluarte names cabinet amid protests

President Dina Boluarte names her cabinet days after former President Pedro Castillo was removed by Congress.

Presidency of Peru shows President of Peru Dina Boluarte
President of Peru Dina Boluarte receiving the greeting of Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez, in Lima, Peru, December 8, 2022 [Peru Presidency Handout via EPA]

Peru’s new President Dina Boluarte has named her cabinet following the removal of former President Pedro Castillo in a step that has triggered protests.

Boluarte tapped on Saturday former deputy finance minister Alex Contreras as economy minister and chemical engineer Oscar Vera as energy and mines minister.

She also named former state prosecutor Pedro Angulo as prime minister and diplomat Ana Cecilia Cervantes as foreign minister.

Boluarte was hastily sworn in as Peru’s first female president on Wednesday just hours after Castillo, who faced a series of corruption probes into himself and his family, was removed in an impeachment vote by Congress.

Castillo had tried to head off that vote – the third against him since he took office 18 months ago – by trying to dissolve the legislature and announcing he would rule by decree. But lawmakers voted to fire him anyway.

Peru’s attorney general has confirmed the left-wing rural teacher is being investigated on allegations of “rebellion” and “conspiracy”.

The prosecution accused Castillo of rebellion and conspiracy, and a high court ordered him held for seven days in preliminary detention.

The charges against Castillo carry a jail term of between 10 and 20 years.

The 60-year-old lawyer Boluarte, who was Castillo’s vice president, is set to hold the post until 2026 if no new elections are called.

Many roads remained blocked in the south of the country, where Castillo enjoys wide support, including the Pan-American Highway that links Peru and Chile, leaving dozens of buses and cargo trucks stranded.

Hundreds of people marched through the streets of the capital Lima on Friday for the second day, demanding Castillo’s release. On Thursday, police fired tear gas and clashed with hundreds of his supporters.

Students, workers and left-wing political parties have announced a protest in Lima on Saturday beginning at 21:00 GMT (4:00pm local), after the end of the day’s FIFA World Cup quarter-final matches in Qatar.

Source: News Agencies