Saturday 10/16/21
LATIN AMERICA

Peru's prime minister resigns, sparking government crisis

Bellido is being investigated for money laundering and justifying terrorism
FILED - Pedro Castillo, president of Peru, participates in the ceremony marking the 53rd anniversary of the Social Protection and Assistance Fund (CPAS). Photo: Alberto Orbegoso/Presidencia Peru/dpa - ACHTUNG: Nur zur redaktionellen Verwendung und nur mit vollständiger Nennung des vorstehenden Credits
Pedro Castillo participates in the anniversary of the Social Protection and Assistance Fund (CPAS). Photo: Alberto Orbegoso/Presidencia Peru/dpa.

Some two months after Peru's new government took office, President Pedro Castillo's controversial prime minister has left his post.

"We accepted the resignation of the head of the council of ministers Guido Bellido Ugarte, whom I thank for his services to the country," Castillo said in an address to the nation.

The prime minister's resignation means all ministers had to vacate their posts. Castillo swore in a new cabinet later in the evening.

Bellido will be succeeded by Mirtha Vazquez, the former interim president of Congress. There were several other changes in the line-up.

Former village schoolteacher Castillo was sworn in as president at the end of July after an extremely narrow election victory and weeks of legal wrangling with right-wing populist candidate Keiko Fujimori.

Challenging task

The first few months in office for the inexperienced new president have been challenging.

Foreign minister Hector Bejar resigned over controversial comments on terrorism in Peru within a month of the government taking office.

Bellido is being investigated for money laundering and justifying terrorism.

Political turmoil has marked the past year for Peru, as the country's Congress was locked in a bitter conflict with the government. Parliamentarians first forced then-president Martin Vizcarra out of office, and then his successor, Manuel Merino, threw in the towel after fierce protests.

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