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Peru's Congress backs new cabinet after government announces new funding for mining

4th April 2024

By: Reuters

  

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LIMA - Lawmakers in Peru voted to support the government's new slate of ministers on Wednesday, just hours after the prime minister promised billions of dollars in new spending, including for mining projects.

The vote of confidence in President Dina Boluarte's latest Cabinet passed by a lopsided margin of 70 votes in favor and only 35 opposed, and came on the heels of recent corruption charges that implicate the mining-dependent country's embattled leader.

All of her ministers would have been forced to resign if the cabinet failed to win congressional backing.

Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Gustavo Adrianzen offered the spending plan in a speech to Congress, which included $4.6-billion for mining and some $8-billion for public-private partnerships.

Peru is a top global copper producer, and taxes on the sales of the red metal are a key source of government revenue.

Boluarte's government has been shaken by allegations that she improperly acquired luxury Rolex watches along with other claims of illicit enrichment. Boluarte has denied all wrongdoing.

Nearly a third of the government's ministers resigned on Monday following a weekend police raid of the president's residence, raising the pressure on Boluarte, who took office in 2022 as Peru's sixth president in just six years.

A recent poll showed that Peru's Congress only commands about 9% approval in the South American nation, similar to Boluarte's dwindling public support.

The president's situation grew more complicated on Tuesday, when the prosecutor's office expanded its investigation into bank deposits of "unknown origin" as well as Boluarte's acquisition of a Cartier bracelet worth tens of thousands of dollars.

In his address to lawmakers, the prime minister added that the government expected this year to finalize a move to improve commercial ties with China, part of a free trade agreement signed in 2009 that has boosted exports notably of Peruvian mining products.

Negotiations to amend the treaty began in 2019.

Edited by Reuters

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