The resignation of the Prime Minister of Peru, Anibal Torres, on Thursday, caused a new crisis in the government of Pedro Castillo, who accepted the resignation and announced the change – the fifth since he came to power in July 2021 – in the entire cabinet. Torres justified his decision to leave office by not approving de facto in Congress the law allowing the government to hold public referenda, which meant the rejection of his confidence motion last week in parliament.
According to the Peruvian constitution, if Congress twice rejects a request for a matter of confidence, the legal number means a request for approval of a law; The government can legally shut down Congress and call new elections; As did the previous president Martin Vizcarra (2018-2020) in September 2019 in the Andean country.
In a message delivered at midnight (from Thursday to Friday evening), Peruvian President Pedro Castillo He noted that the refusal of Congress to amend a law allowing the government to hold referendums settled by voting, means a “categorical rejection” of the question of confidence in the Prime Minister, Anibal Torres, and therefore, under the Constitution, he must resign from office.
“After accepting the resignation of the ‘Prime Minister’, whom I thank for his interest and work for the country, I will renew the formation of the government,” Pedro Castillo announced in a televised message from the Government Palace in Lima. The President added, “In view of all this, it is also necessary to urge those who, from Congress until now, continue to persistently impose motions of censure, with false denunciations, with distorted commentary, political exclusion, and crude accusations like treason. They turn their backs on the sovereign will of the citizens that They expressed it at the polls.
Last week, Anibal Torres filed a motion of confidence in the legislature to demand the repeal of Law No. 313399 passed by this Congress. According to Torres, “No one is obliged to do what is not required by law. Nobody is forbidden to do what is not prohibited by law. Therefore, we give confidence to the bill that establishes the participation of the people and do so with absolute respect for the autonomy of the authorities.”
president @employee: “Laws like returning Fonavi’s money or not reelecting congressmen, would not be the reality of today if the people had not decided in a referendum. This law has taken away our right to exercise it again.” pic.twitter.com/7YBWmaEsSY
– Presidency of Peru 🇵🇪 (presidenciaperu) November 25, 2022
for the President of Congress Joseph Williams The express rejection of the question of the Constitution “is made as imputation referred to in Article 86 and the President cannot impute a contrary interpretation…that would result in an unconstitutional dissolution of Congress.”
“There is no realistic denial of trust issues. We will use constitutional tools to defend Congress and the rule of law,” the Congress president stressed on his Twitter account.
Political analysts disagree when it comes to explaining who is right in this confrontation between the executive and legislative branches. Constitutional lawyer Cairo age He argues that “the president can explain that the matter of confidence has been dismissed by the legislature and the cabinet changed. This is because Congress has rejected the matter of confidence (of Torres) by not even allowing the motion to be accepted for processing.”
While the former constitutional justice and former candidate of the Eprista Party, Ernest Alvarez, It states that “the executive branch can formulate a question of confidence but (questions of confidence) that invade congressional powers and go beyond the relationship with government policies can be dismissed without limits because they are not formulated.”
Since Castillo became President of Peru in July 2021, there have been four prime ministers: Congressman Guido Bellido; left-wing leader and former congresswoman, Myrtha Vasquez; Congressman Hector Valer and professor and lawyer Anibal Torres. Betsy Chavez, A former Minister of Culture and investigated by the Attorney General’s Office for allegedly employing her relatives for public office, this Friday she became the fifth Prime Minister of Peru during Castillo’s term.