2021-10-07 00:55:45 Peru’s President Castillo announces resignation of prime minister | Politics News
Peru’s President Castillo announces resignation of prime minister | Politics News
President Pedro Castillo is expected to name a new Prime Minister and cabinet after confirming Guido Bellido’s resignation.
Peruvian Prime Minister Guido Bellido resigned two months into his term, according to President Pedro Castillo, citing “instability” in the country.
Castillo appointed Bellido following his presidential victory in July, and the new administration was approved by Congress in August.
“Today I inform the country that we have accepted Prime Minister Guido Bellido Ugarte’s resignation, whom we thank for his services rendered,” Castillo said in a surprise message broadcast on state television on Wednesday.
According to Peruvian law, the resignation of the prime minister automatically triggers the resignation of the entire cabinet.
Castillo provided no explanation for the change, but said a new prime minister and cabinet – which could be the same as the old one – would be announced later that evening. Bellido’s resignation letter stated that he was resigning at Castillo’s “request.”
After his resignation was announced, Bellido took to Twitter and captioned a photo from the film Gladiator, “We return to the arena where we belong.”
Both Castillo and Bellido are members of the socialist Free Peru Party, but Bellido has taken more hard-left positions and faced criticism for suggesting that Peru’s natural gas sector be nationalized.
Last month, his cabinet sent a letter to Argentina’s Pluspetrol, Peru’s largest natural gas player, requesting that the firm renegotiate its contract with the state in order to pay higher taxes.
Bellido called for direct state involvement in key economic areas in an interview with the Reuters news agency shortly after taking office.
“Our feeling is that strategic sectors should be in government hands,” he said.
“In my opinion, natural gas is a strategic resource that requires government participation [as well] as large-scale hydroelectric projects.”
Bellido also delivered a speech to Congress in Indigenous Quechua for the first time in the country’s history in August.
However, the appointment of the outgoing prime minister was fraught with controversy from the start.
Prosecutors allegedly investigated Bellido, 41, for an alleged “apology for terrorism” over statements made shortly after taking his seat in parliament in June.
In statements to the online news outlet Inka Vision, he appeared to defend supporters of the Shining Path Maoist group, which fought the state from 1980 to 2000 and is classified as a terrorist organization by Lima.
President of Congress Maria del Carmen Alva, a member of the right-wing Accion Popular, welcomed Bellido’s departure on Twitter, saying it came after days of “unnecessary uncertainty.”
Castillo stated in announcing Bellido’s resignation that his government supports private investment in the country.
“The balance of powers serves as a link between the rule of law and democracy,” Castillo explained.
“Confidence votes, [Congressional] hearings, and censure should not be used to create political instability,” he added.