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Invested as head of state after a failed coup attempt by former president Pedro Castillo, Peru’s new president Dina Boluarte announced her government on Saturday. However, this does not exclude the organization of early elections.
Peru’s new president Dina Boluarte announced her government on Saturday (December 10th) as discontent grows in the streets, where supporters of former president Pedro Castillo are calling for his release and new elections.
The new government has 19 ministers, including eight women. The former prosecutor specializing in the fight against corruption, Pedro Angulo, also a lawyer, was appointed Prime Minister.
Earlier in the day, Congress President José Williams called on the new president to take swift action, including the appointment of a government, to “generate confidence and tranquility”.
Many protests and roadblocks have been taking place since Thursday in Lima and several cities across the country, including the Andean regions where Pedro Castillo, a former rural schoolteacher, enjoys the greatest support.
Dina Boluarte, vice-president until her inauguration on Wednesday after the dismissal of Pedro Castillo by Parliament, did not rule out the organization of early elections. “I appeal to the sisters and brothers who come out to demonstrate to ask them to calm down,” she told reporters.
“If the society and the situation deserve it, we will propose elections within the framework of discussions with the democratic forces of Congress,” she said, wishing to seek a peaceful solution to the political crisis.
Hundreds of protesters
Hundreds of people, responding to the call of left-wing collectives, marched from the historic center of Lima towards the Congress on Saturday, in a demonstration that gathered fewer participants than in previous days. “We are protesting because they are holding our sequestered president, we want his release,” Rosa Gutierrez, 60, told AFP.
“This woman (Dina Boluarte) is a usurper, she holds the position of President Castillo, she betrayed him out of ambition,” said Ruth Orihuela, 46.
In Andahuaylas, in the Apurimac region where Dina Boluarte is from, clashes between demonstrators and police left 20 injured, including four among the police, according to the Peruvian Defender of Rights. The local prosecutor’s office was notably the target of slingshots and stone throwing, to which the police responded by using tear gas.
The police had used tear gas on Thursday to disperse the demonstrators who were already heading towards Parliament, displaying signs “Freedom for Castillo”, “Boluarte does not represent me” or “Dissolution of Parliament”.
The Office of the Ombudsman called on Twitter “all citizens to be calm and responsible”, recalling that “the use of violent means during demonstrations (was) prohibited”.
After his failed attempt on Wednesday to dissolve Parliament and establish a state of emergency, a maneuver described as a “coup d’etat”, Pedro Castillo was placed in pre-trial detention on Thursday for seven days at the request of the Public Prosecutor’s Office which prosecutes him for “rebellion” and “conspiracy”.
He is being held in a police barracks, the same where another ex-president, Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), is serving a 25-year prison sentence for crimes against humanity and corruption.
His former chief of staff Guidio Bellido as well as Me Guillermo Olivera, one of his lawyers, suggested on Friday that Pedro Castillo had “may have been incited” to dissolve Parliament under the effect of psychotropic drugs.
While the Parliament was to debate a third impeachment procedure against President Castillo, “for moral incapacity”, since his accession to power in July 2021, the one who was still at the head of the country had made a solemn declaration on television, wearing the presidential sash, announcing the dissolution of Parliament and the establishment of a state of emergency in the country.