Peru President Works to Stabilize Government Following PM’s Resignation Amid Scandal

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By LatAm Reports Editorial Team

Peru’s interim government, led by President Dina Boluarte, is facing yet another scandal after her closest ally, Alberto Otárola, resigned as prime minister over allegations of corruption. Otárola was heard making unrequited amorous advances towards Yaziré Pinedo, a 25-year-old woman who received state contracts worth over $14,000 in 2023. The scandal comes at a time when the country is already politically and economically vulnerable, with businesses hesitant to invest and a majority of Peruvians disillusioned with what they perceive as a corrupt and self-serving political class.

Boluarte, a former lawyer with little political experience, assumed the presidency in December 2022 after the impeachment and imprisonment of hard-left President Pedro Castillo, who attempted to shut down congress and rule by decree. However, her government has been plagued by controversy since then, particularly when it deployed troops to quell violent street protests in the country’s impoverished south, resulting in the deaths of 49 people. Human rights organizations have accused the government of using disproportionate and indiscriminate violence and have called for those responsible to be held accountable.

Boluarte’s popularity has never recovered since the crackdown, and her single-digit approval rating has made her one of Latin America’s most unpopular leaders. The turmoil has also affected the economy, with the country briefly slipping into recession last year. However, the International Monetary Fund predicts a recovery this year, forecasting a 2.7% growth in gross domestic product.

Congress is currently debating reforms that would re-establish a senate in the Peruvian parliament after three decades of a unicameral system imposed by authoritarian President Alberto Fujimori in the 1990s. The changes would also allow politicians to serve more than one term. However, calls for early elections are likely to be resisted, as legislators are determined to serve until the end of their terms in 2026. Despite the controversy over Otárola’s departure, the country is stabilizing itself, and there is relative stability, according to independent centrist congressman Edward Málaga Trillo.