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Guido Bellido’s story at the head of the Ministerial Cabinet ended abruptly on Wednesday, more than two months after taking office and after a series of confrontations with him. Congress and even with members of the Executive itself, including the president Pedro Castillo. Since Wednesday night, his replacement is Mirtha Vasquez, former congressman of the Broad Front.
The also former president of Congress (2020-2021) thus became the sixth prime minister in the history of Peru. She leads a Cabinet that, in total, underwent seven changes and that has gone from having two to five women on its payroll. During her tenure as a legislator, she signed projects in favor of establishing a constituent assembly to draft a new Constitution, one of Castillo’s flags in the electoral campaign with Peru Libre.
SIGHT: Pedro Castillo: two months of silence in the face of political noise and only 30 minutes with the press | ANALYSIS
“By God, for this country of women and men who fight every day to live with dignity without discrimination and who promote real changes, I do swear”Vásquez said before the president in the golden room of the Government Palace. Bellido did not participate in the ceremony.
The changes in the Cabinet began to be voiced from noon on Wednesday. Vásquez’s appointment was coordinated between Wednesday and Tuesday, according to a source from El Comercio before the swearing-in ceremony. According to the registry of visits, the former parliamentarian had a working meeting with Aúner Vásquez, head of the Technical Cabinet of the Presidency of the Republic, between 7:43 pm and 9:27 pm on Tuesday.
“The idea is to try to balance things with Congress. Seeking a new cohabitation of politics “commented the same source regarding the arrival of Vásquez to the PCM.
Another of the sources consulted stated that “The president asked her to be president of the Council of Ministers. The president called her, asked to speak to her “.
Earlier, in a message to the nation, Castillo asserted that the decision taken corresponds to strengthening governance. “The balance of powers is the bridge between the rule of law and democracy. It must seek tranquility and cohesion in the government. Thus, the question of trust, interpellation and censorship should not be used to create political instability “, he expressed.
What is mentioned by the president is not minor. The changes take place in the midst of a tense relationship between the Executive and the Legislative, which included questions mainly towards Bellido and the outgoing Minister of Labor, Iber Maraví. Against the latter, precisely, the presentation of a motion of censure backed by legislators from the seven opposition benches was enlisted because of their alleged links with the Shining Path terrorist group and Conare-Sutep, a radical wing of the teaching profession.
The renewal of the Cabinet takes place after the resignation of the prime minister. Sources in this newspaper indicated that Castillo and Bellido talked about it between Wednesday and Tuesday, but the president requested the resignation of the legislator on Wednesday morning. And this materialized.
Wednesday’s session at Palacio began with the expectation of a session of the Council of Ministers that was scheduled for 9 a.m., but was never held, and ended at night with the swearing-in of the new Cabinet and a meeting between Castillo and the new ministers later.
According to the same sources, Bellido did go to the Great Hall of the Government Palace to participate in the session of the Council of Ministers scheduled for the morning. However, it was never installed and its suspension was announced because Bellido had to leave to meet with the president.
“The premier indicated that he was dispatching an urgent agenda with the president and requested to suspend the meeting of the Council of Ministers. So it was”Hernando Cevallos, ratified as Minister of Health, told RPP.
Of the 19 ministers, 12 were ratified. Among the 7 incomes is that of Bettsy Chávez, a legislator and militant of Peru Libre – located in the moderate wing of the bench – who assumes the Labor portfolio in replacement of Maraví. Chávez met Tuesday night with the president in the same period that Vásquez was in the Palace.
Also Gisella Ortiz, a human rights activist and relative of one of the victims of the La Cantuta massacre in 1992 who replaces Ciro Gálvez in the Ministry of Culture.
The Education sector will be led by Carlos Gallardo, former dean of the College of Teachers of Peru who was part of Castillo’s technical team in the campaign. He has also participated, together with the legislator Edgar Tello, in events of Fenate Peru, a teachers’ union founded by Pedro Castillo.
Luis Barranzuela has joined the Ministry of the Interior, replacing former prosecutor Juan Carrasco. He has served as a lawyer for Vladimir Cerrón, Guido Bellido and Perú Libre in the framework of a tax investigation for money laundering.
The most tense and dissenting reaction came from Peru Libre, despite being the ruling party. First, through a statement in which he demanded Castillo “Party representation” in the new Cabinet and asked – in tune with a tweet from Vladimir Cerrón – “Exclude rightists, cavians and traitors”as well as sticking to the party program. He also noted that “electoral allies have taken control” of many ministerial portfolios.
A group of Perulibrista legislators went to the Palace, before the swearing in, to ask Castillo not to change the line of government. After the event, the spokesman Waldemar Cerrón angrily shouted to the press: “The Peru Libre bench does not support this Cabinet, because we consider that it is a betrayal of all the majorities that have waited for many years to come to power”.
Meanwhile, the president of the Congress, María del Carmen Alva, welcomed the renewal of the Cabinet. The same did the legislators of Popular Action, APP, Avanza País, We are Peru-Purple Party, Together for Peru, We Can Peru and Popular Renovation. Popular Force described Castillo’s decision as “late”.
Also on Wednesday, President Castillo observed the autograph of the law that Congress approved on September 16, which regulates the issue of trust.
The Executive argued that the norm violates the principle of separation of powers and the competences of the Government linked to the formulation and implementation of public policies. “The autograph of the law is at odds with the Constitution and the wide margin it provides to the Executive to raise questions of trust”, It indicated.