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Amid protests, Peru’s new leader asked to quickly form cabinet

#protests #Perus #leader #asked #quickly #form #cabinet

The head of Peru’s legislature called Saturday on the country’s new leader Dina Boluarte to appoint a new cabinet urgently amid continuing street protests following the removal of Pedro Castillo as president.

Boluarte, who served as vice president under Castillo, has promised to form a government on Saturday, but also did not rule out holding an early presidential vote — a key demand of street protesters who have been blocking roads and burning tires across this country with a record of political upheaval and instability.

“The president of the republic must make prompt decisions, such as on her cabinet … to get out of certain difficulties and generate confidence and calm,” House speaker Jose Williams said on RPP radio.

He added: “I ask people to calm down. Look at things positively.”

Boluarte was hastily sworn in as Peru’s first woman president on Wednesday just hours after Castillo, who faced a series of corruption probes into himself and his family, was ousted in an impeachment vote by congress. 

Castillo had tried to head off that vote — the third against him since he took office 18 months ago — by trying to dissolve the legislature and announcing he would rule by decree. But lawmakers voted to fire him anyway.

The prosecution accuses the left-wing rural teacher of rebellion and conspiracy, and a high court ordered him held for seven days in preliminary detention.

The charges against Castillo carry a jail term of between 10 and 20 years.

Many roads remained blocked in the south of the country, where Castillo enjoys wide support, including the Pan-American Highway that links Peru and Chile, leaving dozens of buses and cargo trucks stranded.

Hundreds of people marched through the streets of the capital Lima on Friday for the second day, demanding Castillo’s release. On Thursday, police fired tear gas and clashed with hundreds of his supporters.

Students, workers and left-wing political parties have announced a protest in Lima on Saturday beginning at 2100 GMT (4:00 pm local), after the end of the day’s FIFA World Cup quarter-final matches in Qatar.

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