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Peru's first woman president swears in cabinet

December 11, 2022

Peruvian leader Dina Boluarte presented her centrist government following the controversial ouster of democratically-elected former President Pedro Castillo.

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte and newly named cabinet members on the steps of the government palace in Lima, Peru
Peruvian President Dina Boluarte, center front, and newly named cabinet membersImage: Guadalupe Pardo/AP/picture alliance

Peru's first female President, Dina Boluarte, swore in her cabinet on Saturday and asked each minister to pledge not to be corrupt while in office.

Boluarte presented her centrist government amid demonstrations across Peru calling for her resignation and the scheduling of general elections following the ouster of democratically-elected former President Pedro Castillo.

Boluarte took office on Wednesday after Castillo was sacked by Congress and later arrested on rebellion and conspiracy charges for having attempted to dissolve the legislature to prevent an impeachment vote.

Peru: New President Boluarte attends military parade

Anti-corruption pledge

During the ceremony, Boluarte asked each of the nine men and eight women to swear or promise to perform their duties "loyally and faithfully without committing acts of corruption."

All cabinet members knelt before her and wore red-and-white sashes tied around their waists. A large crucifix was placed in front of most cabinet members.

The new cabinet comprises people seen as technicians who are politically independent rather than partisan. Boluarte's new chief of staff is a former prosecutor who specialized in corruption cases.

Protests in Peru
A woman holds a placard reading 'Pedro Castillo, the people are with you' during a demonstration calling for his releaseImage: Gian Masko/dpa/picture alliance

Protesers demand elections

"I want to assure you that I have worked hard to form a ministerial cabinet for unity and democratic consolidation (and) that is at the level of what the country requires," Boluarte said. "The national unity government will be for all Peruvians.''

Boluarte has earlier said she should be allowed to hold the office until July 2026. However, protesters are demanding the closure of Congress and that the country hold a democratic election rather than recognize Boluarte and allow her to finish Castillo's term.

They are also demanding that a new constitution be drafted. Peru has had six presidents in the last six years, including three in a single week in 2020 when Congress flexed its impeachment powers.

dh/wd (AP, AFP, Reuters)