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  • President Vizcarra accepts the Congress decision on Tuesday

    President Vizcarra accepts the Congress decision on Tuesday | Photo: EFE/Andina/Prensa Presidencial

Published 4 August 2020
Opinion

President Vizcarra has 72 hours to accept the resignation of the 19 ministers rejected but also form a new cabinet.

Peru's Congress rejected on Tuesday the new ministerial cabinet proposed by President Martin Vizcarra as the decision unleashes a political crisis amid the COVID-19 outbreak, one of the largest in Latin America.

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On July 15, president Vizcarra renewed half of his cabinet since his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic has mainly been criticized, and his popularity is plummeting over four consecutive months according to a survey by polling company Ipsos Peru.

Following the decision, Peru's Congress today denied a required vote of confidence on the new cabinet led by Prime Minister Pedro Cateriano after 20 hours debating the proposal. The cabinet and the Congress disagreed on Cateriano's plan to revive the economy based on the mining sector, prioritizing financial recovery over the pandemic as well as the appointment of fellow ministers.

"President @ MartinVizcarraC: Respectful of the laws, as I have always been, and in accordance with Article 133 of the Constitution, I accept the decision that the Congress of the Republic made today. Consequently, to form a new cabinet within the period determined by law."

President Vizcarra has 72 hours to accept the resignation of the 19 ministers rejected but also form a new cabinet." The Congress decided to add another crisis to the detriment of all Peruvians," the President said.

However, Vizcarra added that he remains committed to fulfilling his duty until July 28, 2021, at the end of his term.

According to Peru's law, the President is entitled to dissolve the Congress if it refuses to accept a second cabinet. Nevertheless, the same legal framework, called article 134, prohibits the dissolution of Congress during its last year of mandate. 

Hence, the current situation poses the risk of an unlimited vote of confidence denials without any legal cost for Congress.

Peru has one of the most significant COVID-19 outbreaks in the region, with 439,890 infections and 20,007 deaths so far. This adds to the ongoing economic and political crises as the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean forecasted in July a contraction of its gross domestic product by up to 13 percent this year. 

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