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    Peru's President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. | Photo: Reuters

Kuczynski scrambles to fill the empty cabinet seats as his 72-hour deadline nears.

The Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski is set to announce his new cabinet following the ouster of the former cabinet members by to a vote of no-confidence in congress.

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The president has scrambled to fill their seats in the three-day hiatus allotted after a majority vote in congress revealed their doubts in his leadership.

“The worst scenario would be to go to new elections, that would be horrible, would be negative and probably would affect the economic growth of the country," said Julio Velarde, president of the Central Reserve Bank.

Among those reportedly in line to replace cabinet members are Vice President Martin Vizcarra as the nation's new prime minister, Mercedes Araoz as chair of the new cabinet, and Claudia Cooper as the new finance minister.

Kuczynski can also reappoint other ministers in his cabinet.

"There was consensus that Mercedes Araoz is one of the right people to build bridges between the executive and the legislative," Kuczynski stated during a meeting with parliamentary representatives Saturday.

The president has not yet revealed the identities of the other possible cabinet members, however prior to being sworn in, all candidates must be approved by congress.

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The country's congress, where the opposition right-wing party Popular Force has an absolute majority, voted 77-22 Friday to dismiss the cabinet after Prime Minister Fernando Zavala requested a confidence vote, soundly defeating the move.

As the country faces one of the largest teacher strikes in its history, the legislative body voted to remove Education Minister Marilu Martens this week, a decision which Zavala fought against.

The vote, led by Popular Force leader and former presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, forced the president to suspend his trips to the United States and Italy, where he was scheduled to meet U.S. President Donald Trump, speak at the U.N. General Assembly and meet Pope Francis at the Vatican.

Popular Force holds 73 of the 130 seats in Congress, while Kuczynski only has 18 with his party, Peruvians for Change.

During the debate in Congress, the 78-year-old former Wall Street banker was called an "out-of-touch lobbyist" who lacks authority and "poses a danger to Peru."

Congress forced some of Kuczynski’s key ministers out following corruption allegations and no-confidence votes.

They include Mariano Gonzalez in Defense, Martin Vizcarra in Transportation and Communication, Alfredo Thorne in Economy and Jaime Saavedra in Education, who was replaced by Marilu Martens.

Their terms had been due to end in 2021.


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