Peruvian president faces crisis after censure of PM

Lima, April 1: Peruvian President Ollanta Humala is faced with a severe political crisis after Prime Minister A Jara was censured over an espioge scandal, Spanish news agency Efe reported. The president must now try to find a new cabinet acceptable to the opposition-controlled Congress.

The Peruvian opposition on Monday raised the 72 votes it required to carry a censure motion against Jara, accused of collecting data on politicians, jourlists and businessmen for the intelligence services.

With little more than a year left of his mandate, Humala is obliged to accept the resigtion of Jara and her ministers and appoint a new cabinet within 72 hours. If Congress, already under the control of the opposition, has no confidence in the new cabinet, the president has the right to dissolve parliament and hold legislative elections. Without a majority in Congress, Humala will have to find a consensus figure acceptable to the opposition to lead what will be the seventh cabinet of his term. The cabinet’s censure comes at a critical moment for Humala, already caught up in the case of fugitive businessman Martín Belaunde, one of his top advisors in the 2006 electoral campaign, who has sought refuge in Bolivia as Peruvian authorities demand he respond to corruption allegations.

Added to this is tension with Chile over another alleged case of espioge, and an economy that continues to lose momentum. Humala considers Jara’s censure unfair, saying “irresponsible acts of the Congress destabilise the tion and create political noise that affects the investments in the country”.

He said he would appoint a new prime minister, but gave no more details. In February, Humala restructured his cabinet and replaced five ministers to avoid censure and ease months of high political tensions after the opposition first threatened Jara following reports in January of her involvement in spying on opposition members. (IANS)

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