Peru′s new President Castillo names leftist PM | News | DW | 29.07.2021

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Peru's new President Castillo names leftist PM

Guido Bellido, the new prime minister, has previously expressed sympathies for the Shining Path guerrilla group, according to local media.

New Peruvian Prime Minister Guido Bellido taking the oath of office, July 29, 2021, at the site of the 1824 Battle of Ayacucho, which sealed independence from Spain.

Guido Bellido (left) was sworn in by new President Pedro Castillo at the site where Peru won independence from Spain

New Peruvian President Pedro Castillo named a member of his Marxist-Leninist Free Peru Party as prime minister on Thursday.

Who is the new prime minister?

Castillo chose Guido Bellido, who hails from the Andean region of Cuzco, to fill the role.

The new prime minister holds a masters in economics and previously worked for Peru's public statistics agency. The 41-year-old is also an elected congressman.

Bellido took the oath of office in the south-central city of Ayacucho on Thursday and spoke in the indigenous Quechua language during the inauguration ceremony.

Bellido is an acolyte of Vladimir Cerron, the founder and leader of the Free Peru party. Cerron has previously defended Cuba's communist government. 

Bellido has reportedly expressed sympathies for the Shining Path terrorist group on social media, the Peruvian La Republica newspaper has reported. The Maoist guerilla group had  sought for years to undermine the Peruvian government in a bloody insurgency that began in 1980.

Bellido will need to be confirmed by Peru's Congress, which has a majority of center to center-right members. 

Watch video 02:15

Former teacher Pedro Castillo sworn as Peru's president

Castillo promises new economic trajectory

Bellido's swearing-in comes one day after Castillo took the oath of office as the country's new leader.

In his inauguration address on Wednesday, Castillo pledged to change the country's 1993 constitution, which espouses free-market principles. 

Castillo's rejection of free market ideas and leftist economic policy has concerned investors, who have warned that the country could experience capital flight.

If Castillo picks more market-friendly members for his cabinet, it could alleviate concerns among investors.

Peru's rival during the June 6 runoff election, right-wing populist Keiko Fujimori, has said her Popular Force party "will be a firm wall against the latest threat of a new communist constitution."

Fujimori's father, former President Alberto Fujimori, was instrumental in shaping Peru's current constitution.

Castillo's win has been regarded as a rebuke of the country's neoliberal elite.

Peru's new president was raised by illiterate peasants in the poor region of Cajamarca, which lies in the Andes mountains in northern Peru. Castillo, a former schoolteacher, often wears a black Andean suit and a sombrero from his home region.

wd/msh (Reuters, AFP)