Peru – Peru’s prime minister resigns and Castillo announces a complete cabinet reshuffle

Peru's
Peru’s Prime Minister, Anibal Torres – PRESIDENCIA CONSEJO DE MINISTROS PERÚ

Peru’s Prime Minister, Anibal Torres, has presented his resignation to Peruvian President Pedro Castillo after Congress refused to modify the law limiting referendum calls in the country, as reported by RPP radio station.

Torres has opted for his resignation after the Parliament has denied the motion of confidence he presented last week and with which he intended to repeal law 31399, a rule that since the beginning of 2022 hinders the calling of a popular vote.

Said measure, enacted by the opposition in Congress, took away the power of the National Jury of Elections (JNE) to submit to referendum transcendental matters for the citizens of Peru, forcing the body to have the voting proposal previously evaluated and approved in Congress.

The head of government had hoped to return to the JNE the authority to call for a referendum without going through the approval of the Parliament, something that the Congressional board rejected outright on Thursday.

«The Board of Directors has agreed by majority to fully reject the question of confidence raised by the President of the Council of Ministers for using prohibited ways to raise a question of confidence, as established by the Constitutional Court,» said the President of Congress, Jose Williams in statements reported by RPP.

The head of the Peruvian Parliament justified the decision by assuring that the proposal made by the country’s Prime Minister, Aníbal Torres, exceeds the constitutional and legal framework because it bypasses the Congress, which would represent «a serious alteration» to the State and the separation of powers.

For this same proposal of the Government, the opposition has filed a constitutional complaint against President Pedro Castillo, the Prime Minister and the ministers of the entire Executive, alleging that they would have violated several articles of the Constitution.

PEDRO CASTILLO ACCEPTS TORRES’ RESIGNATION The President of Peru, Pedro Castillo, late Thursday night gave a televised message to the country’s population in which he accepted the resignation of his former Prime Minister, Anibal Torres.

He has also announced that after the express rejection of the motion of confidence by the Congress, as well as Torres’ resignation, he will completely renew his Council of Ministers, as reported by ‘La República’.

«After this express refusal of confidence, with the expression of ‘full rejection’, and having accepted the resignation of the ‘premier’, whom I thank for his concern and work for the country, I will renew the Cabinet,» Castillo has reiterated in a five-minute speech.

Likewise, the president called on Congress to respect the constitutional rule of law, democracy and the balance of powers.

«Think again, congressmen, because the great desires and interests of the citizenship cannot be truncated by the excessive interests of some elites or minorities», he said.

Castillo defended the question of confidence raised by Torres, which sought to repeal Law 31399, stating that it impeded the right of all citizens to participate in politics directly and without intermediaries.

In this sense, he recalled that laws such as the non-reelection of congressmen or the return of funds from the National Housing Fund «would not be a reality today if the people had not decided it in a referendum».

«This law has arbitrarily taken away our right to exercise it again. We as the Government wanted to return it to all Peruvians», he reiterated, accusing «certain political groups» of having rejected the proposal for its repeal.

With just over nine months in office, Aníbal Torres has been the longest-serving Prime Minister of the Peruvian Executive since Pedro Castillo was sworn in as President of Peru on July 28, 2021. In addition, Torres has been the fourth head of government during Castillo’s term in office.