The government of Peruvian President Pedro Castillo was an active volcano that sooner or later was going to erupt. A little more than two months after his inauguration, the internal fights between the moderate wing and the most radical sector of the left caused the first great internal crisis in the new executive that ejected Prime Minister Guido Bellido and his entire cabinet from office.
“The levels of confrontation in the interior were unsustainable,” he summarized Fernando Tuesta, former head of the National Office of Electoral Processes and former director of the Institute of Public Opinion of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.
On your podcast PoliticsTuesta recalled that the new chief of staff, the former president of Congress, Mirtha Vasques, “Belongs to the more moderate left sector of the Broad Front”, an ally of Peru Libre, the small Marxist-Leninist party led by the radicalized leader Vladimir Cerrón which brought Castillo to the presidency.
Cerrón, representative of the combative wing of the Peruvian left that sheltered the outgoing Prime Minister Bellido, went out to mark his territory after the crisis and demanded “a share of power“For his group, excluding the” traitors “, whom he did not identify.
What the Marxist group said in the government
“Cabinet change should exclude right-wingers, caviar (as the bourgeois left is called in Peru) and traitors. It is time for Peru Libre to demand its share of power, guaranteeing their real presence or the bench will take a firm position. Nuevo Perú and Frente Amplio (the other groups in the coalition) have already been served, ”Cerrón wrote on his Twitter account shortly after Bellido’s departure.
Beyond the fact that some forms can still be saved within the ruling coalition, Cerrón broke spears with Castillo. The president decided to keep in the new cabinet leaders highly criticized by Peru Libre, such as the ministers of Foreign Relations Oscar Maúrtua and Justice, Aníbal Torres. The war is no longer internal and it is already being fought in the open, although the president cannot afford, today, to turn his back on Peru Libre. It would be political suicide.
“Cerronismo has accused the blow. Some of the representatives of his caucus announced that they would not give a vote of confidence to the cabinet. Perhaps what was a fear of Castillo, of have Peru Libre on the sidewalk facing, it could lead to isolation. We know that Castillo does not have his own party and Cerronismo concentrated many of his forces in Parliament, ”said Tuesta.
And he pointed out: “This cabinet is more aligned with what Castillo and some opposition benches want.” This “may lead to a more fluid relationship” with Congress than “with a character like Bellido, who polarized everything he could in such a short time.”
The truth is that Bellido became the stone in Castillo’s shoe with misogynistic attitudes towards opposition parliamentarians, threats to expropriate a gas field or invitations to resign from ministers who disagreed with his methods of government.
For now, the Peru Libre bench issued a strong warning to the government: “we do not support this cabinet, because we consider that it is a betrayal of all the majorities that have waited for many years to come to power to be served,” said the congressman. and spokesperson for the official group, Waldemar Cerrón, brother of Vladimir Cerrón.
The future of the Pedro Castillo government
In Peru, cabinets need to count the vote of confidence from Congress. Castillo now has 30 days to submit his new government to the parliamentary decision.
For the director of the pollster Imasen, Giovanna Penaflor, the change of cabinet gives Castillo “an option, but not as much as if he had agreed with other forces” in Parliament, which is single-member and dominated by the right-wing opposition.
Peru has had four presidents in just five years. And it is precisely this climate of political instability that led Castillo to re-launch his government and negotiate on other terms with a Congress that has so far turned its back on him.
“I think it is a search for greater efficiency and give yourself a breath to be able to rethink your position. It is a good step but insufficient, “said Peñaflor to TN.com.ar.
The analyst warned that the new premier Mirtha Vasques, a leader of the Frente Amplio, “is more competent” than Bellido, whom the opposition linked to the terrorist group Sendero Luminoso, as well as other former members of the cabinet. “But I don’t know if it is less radical. As president of Congress, she was not bad, although she made some controversial decision and finally backed down ”.
“But it is Frente Amplio,” he insisted.
However, Peñaflor rejected that the Castillo government has suffered “a right turn” as pointed out by Peru Libre, although he pointed out that the change of helm meant “a loss of weight for Cerrón, but so that the ideas remain the same ”. And he asked himself: “Union tactic? Or traditional politics?
The answer will have to be sought in Congress.
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