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  • Left-wing political movement New Peru and half of voters believe Vice President Martin Vizcarra should call for new elections.

    Left-wing political movement New Peru and half of voters believe Vice President Martin Vizcarra should call for new elections. | Photo: Reuters

Published 22 March 2018

Left-wing political movement New Peru and half of Peru's voters believe Vice-President Martin Vizcarra should call new elections.

Peru's incoming president Martin Vizcarra will replace the country's prime minister in a bid to form a consensus government with input from a broad representation of political groups and institutions, two sources close to Vizcarra told Reuters on Thursday.

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Prime Minister Mercedes Araoz will remain in her other position as vice president, the two sources and a third source close to Araoz said on Thursday. Araoz had previously vowed to resign the vice presidency out of loyalty to outgoing president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski if Congress forced him from office.

Vizcarra and Araoz did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The sources close to Vizcarra said it was not clear if he would keep any ministers in the current Cabinet beyond a transitional period to ensure the government runs smoothly.

But they said Vizcarra definitely plans to replace Araoz, who has faced harsh criticism from lawmakers on the right and left as she has fought to help Kuczynski survive.

The announcement comes a few hours after Peruvians demanded new elections to replace Kuczynski (PPK), who resigned Wednesday in the face of multiple corruption scandals.

Left-wing political movement New Peru and half of Peru's voters believe Vizcarra should call for new elections.

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New Peru leader Veronika Mendoza is asking Vizcarra, due to be sworn in as president this Friday, to promote constitutional reform and call general elections.

"When we talk about new elections, we are talking about elections with new rules to ensure that those who led us to this crisis don't come back," Mendoza said.

PPK resigned after a video was made public showing his allies trying to buy congressional votes to help Kuczynski dodge his second impeachment attempt over corruption charges in connection with Brazil-based construction giant Odebrecht.

Vizcarra, ambassador to Canada, is expected to replace PPK, but Peruvians appear to be rejecting the possibility of Vizcarra governing until 2021.

A recent poll by GFK reveals that 49 percent of Peruvians believe Kuczynski's two vice presidents should resign and that Congressional President Luis Galarreta should call new elections.

The poll, conducted between March 17 and 20, indicated that only 26 percent of the population supports Vizcarra as president, but Reuters reported last week that he has no plans of stepping aside.

Peru's political crisis is not limited to the executive branch: the GFK poll also shows that 81 percent of Peruvians disapprove of Congress.  

 


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