Peru names new PM after spying scandal03 april 2015, 15:18
Peru's President Ollanta Humala named a new prime minister Thursday, moving to end a crisis sparked by spying allegations leveled at the previous premier, who was sacked by Congress, AFP reports.
The new premier is Pedro Cateriano, who until now had served as defense minister.
In a surprise move, the president also named a new foreign minister.
The now ex-prime minister, Ana Jara, was deposed in a no-confidence vote late Monday after media reports that the powerful National Intelligence Directorate, or DINI, spied on politicians, journalists, business leaders and thousands of everyday citizens.
Jara had been under fire since March 19, when news magazine Correo Semanal published a sweeping list of Peruvians who had allegedly been targeted by the now-suspended intelligence agency.
Summoned to Congress, Jara, 46, said the spying dated back to at least the previous two governments, and told lawmakers she had ordered an investigation.
But opposition parties attacked her for failing to end the practice, and succeeded in getting the votes needed to remove her from office -- 72 to 42, with two abstentions.
With one year to go in his term, Humala had been dealing with his worst crisis since taking office in 2011, faced with the challenge of finding his seventh prime minister in four years.
The new foreign minister is Ana Maria Sanchez, who only a day earlier had been named ambassador to France.
Humala must get his new nominees approved by a Congress in which he does not have a majority.
If his choices are rejected, he can dissolve Congress and call legislative elections.
Peru's powerful first lady, Nadine Heredia, the leader of the ruling Nationalist Party, called the sacking a pretext to attack the government ahead of general elections next year, in which she is touted as a likely candidate to succeed her husband.
Humala's approval rating has fallen to 22 percent amid a series of crises, including a money-laundering investigation targeting his wife and former president Alejandro Toledo and mounting protests by indigenous Peruvians opposed to mining and oil activities on their lands.
Peru, the world's fifth-largest gold producer, registered its slowest economic growth in five years in 2014 -- 2.35 percent -- largely because of a sluggish mining sector.