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President of Peru ratifies his prime minister and changes Economy portfolio

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo on Friday night ratified his prime minister who had offered his resignation two days ago, and appointed a new economy minister in a partial renovation of his cabinet, amid pressure for investigations of alleged corruption in the Government.

Kurt Burneo, a center-left economist who was deputy finance minister under President Alejandro Toledo two decades ago, will be economy and finance minister, replacing Óscar Graham, who has been in office since February.

In his first statements to journalists, Burneo said that his fundamental task will be to “restore confidence in economic agents”, at a time when the economy of the world’s second largest producer of copper shows signs of slowing down amid constant social conflicts in the sector. miner.

“And that depends a lot on the clarity of the proposal to reactivate the economy,” he said in the courtyard of the Government Palace along with other members of the cabinet.

“The “need for less uncertainty and more confidence involves giving clear signals of what the economic policy will be, at least in the short term, to achieve a higher growth rate,” emphasized Burneo, who has also been director of the bank. central bank and president of the Banco de la Nación.

President Castillo decided to keep Aníbal Torres as prime minister and chief of staff, which means the government will not have to seek a new vote of confidence from the opposition-dominated congress, avoiding a key risk.

“I have not accepted the resignation of Premier Aníbal Torres, who is committed to continuing to work for our country,” President Castillo said on Twitter (NYSE: TWTR ), before swearing in new members of the cabinet of ministers.

Castillo had announced on Thursday that he was seeking a new “broad-based” cabinet, but kept most of the 19-member team.

In the partial renewal, he changed five officials, including the head of Foreign Relations, with the entry of the internationalist Miguel Angel Rodríguez to replace César Landa.

The permanence of Torres, a staunch defender of the president in the face of corruption allegations, also occurs when tensions with Congress are on the rise.

Castillo was forced to remain in the Andean country this week after the opposition-dominated Congress denied him permission the day before to attend the inauguration of Colombian President-elect Gustavo Petro.

The Peruvian president faces five investigations, among them for the alleged crimes of influence peddling, obstruction of justice, directing a criminal organization and even plagiarism of his teacher’s master’s thesis.

Castillo, a former left-wing trade unionist and public school teacher who became president in July last year, has denied all the accusations.

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