Castillo appoints investigated minister as chief of staff

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Lima (EFE).- The Peruvian President, Pedro Castillo, this Friday appointed Betssy Chávez the fifth president of the Council of Ministers, who until now was the head of Culture and is the subject of an investigation by the public prosecutor’s office for having allegedly hired his relatives for public offices.

“For respect for the rule of law and the restoration of the balance and separation of powers, I swear it,” Chávez said in a short-lived ceremony attended by his predecessor, Aníbal Torres, whom Castillo said. accepted the resignation a few minutes before midnight.

Photograph provided by the Presidency of Peru which shows President Pedro Castillo as he swears in Betssy Chávez as President of the Council of Ministers today, in Lima, Peru. EFE/Courtesy of the Presidency of Peru

On November 14, the prosecution announced the opening of an investigation for the alleged commission of the crimes of incompatible negotiation or abuse of position and aggravated trading in influence against Chávez.

The investigation was opened after the Sunday program Cuarto Poder denounced that Chávez had hired at the Ministry of Culture, and would have facilitated the link with another state entity, the relatives of businessman Abel Sotelo with whom he has a personal relationship, according to the pictures. journalistic space.

Chávez’s career

Chávez, 33, is a lawyer born in the province of Tacna, on the border with Chile, and previously served as Minister of Labor and Employment Promotion in the current government, a post for which she served been censored by Congress.

He is also a member of Congress, a post for which he ran for Free Peru, a party calling itself Marxist and which also brought Castillo to the presidency.

However, Chávez dropped out of that formation last December, as did the president a few months later.

Chávez becomes the fifth president of the Council of Ministers since Castillo took power in July 2021, following the resignation presented yesterday by Torres before the decision of the congressional board of directors to “absolutely” reject the proposal for a vote of confidence that he did last week.

Photograph provided by the Presidency of Peru which shows President Pedro Castillo as he swears in Betssy Chávez as President of the Council of Ministers today, in Lima, Peru. EFE/Courtesy of the Presidency of Peru

The Congressional Board took this decision “because these are prohibited matters for their approach”, as announced by the President of Parliament, José Williams.

He added that, despite the fact that the request for confidence is “a discretionary power granted to ministers of state or the president of the Council of Ministers, it must comply with the constitutional and legal requirements in force”.

In that sense, Williams said the approach made by Torres “is a clear attempt to arrogate to himself the sole and exclusive power of Congress to approve or not approve the trust and to interpret the meaning” of this type of request.

When presenting the request for confidence before the plenary session of Congress last week, Torres, who had held the position since last February, warned that the Constitution states that the denial of a vote of confidence is established when the request is “refused” and not expressly “refused”.

He argued, for this reason, that if the mere possibility of receiving the project was declared inadmissible, it would be considered a denial of trust.

“The executive will understand that as a denial of the confidence issue that we are raising, I emphasize, there is no intention to favor the closure of Congress,” he noted.

The Peruvian Constitution establishes that, if Congress rejects a question of confidence, the President must recompose his Cabinet of Ministers and, if this is repeated a second time, he is empowered to dissolve Parliament and immediately call new legislative elections.

Now Congress must give Chávez its vote of confidence, so if Parliament rejects it and Castillo interprets that a first motion has already been rejected, he could try to dissolve it, which the deputies reject.

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