After police raid home of Peru's president, six ministers replaced

After police raid home of Peru’s president, six ministers replaced

/ 12:35 PM April 02, 2024

President of Peru Dina Boluarte swears in new ministers of state

The President of Peru, Dina Boluarte poses with her state ministers after swearing in a new cabinet in Lima, Peru April 1, 2024. REUTERS/Sebastian Castaneda

LIMA — Peru’s president replaced six ministers on Monday after they abruptly resigned, amid a fresh political scandal involving luxury watches that targets her, adding more volatility to the South American nation’s increasingly rocky politics.

The slew of resignations, including the interior minister, follow a probe launched into allegations of illicit enrichment by President Dina Boluarte, who is being investigated over her high-end Rolex watches.

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Police and prosecutors raided the embattled leaders home and office over the weekend looking for evidence of the origin of at least three Rolex watches. Boluarte has denied wrongdoing and insisted that she purchased the watches with her own money.

Interior Minister Victor Torres announced his decision to step down on Monday, which was followed by resignations from the education and women’s ministers. All voiced support for Boluarte, with one calling the police raid on the president’s home “unnecessary” and “excessive.”

“I’m leaving in peace with my hands clean,” Torres told reporters, insisting that his resignation was due to “family and health issues.” The other two ministers did not give reasons for their resignations.

READ: President of Peru slams raids in luxury watch investigation

On Monday evening, Boluarte announced three additional resignations from her cabinet, including the production, trade and agriculture ministers. She named six new ministers in total – replacing roughly a third of her 19-person cabinet in a single day.

Among the new appointments, Walter Ortiz, who previously led the interior ministry’s organized crime unit, will now take over as minister, a key security official in charge of the national police.

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The resignations come as Boluarte’s prime minister, who took office last month, aims to win a vote of support from Congress, as is customary, with the president’s government fearful that the opposition-controlled legislative body might deny the prime minister its support.

A former vice president, Boluarte ascended to the presidency in late 2022 as the sixth president in six years following President Pedro Castillo’s removal and arrest on charges of rebellion and conspiracy.

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