Congress to Meet Tuesday to Vote Again on New Cabinet

Peru’s Congress is to meet again on Tuesday morning to vote on the motion to approve the appointment of Premier Ana Jara and the other members of President Ollanta Humala’s cabinet.

Lawmakers have already held two votes, on Friday, but have not yet given the cabinet a green light since opposition politicians have been conditioning their vote to demands for changes in some cabinet posts.

The Fuerza Popular (Fujimorista) party, and Concertación Parlamentaria led by APRA, both seen as the opposition hardliners, are demanding the resignation of  Mines and Energy minister Eleodoro Mayorga and of Health minister Midori de Habich.

Mayorga is being called to resign over an alleged conflict of interest involving a legal case between the State and the oil company Interoil, as well as allegations that a private firm lobbied his office for the elimination of environmental impact studies for some hydrocarbon projects.

Mayorga has denied any wrongdoing, and state news agency Andina said he would not resign.   De Habich has come under pressure to be replaced due to a 100-day strike by the medical federation, whose members work in the public health system.

Although Mayorga is the main prize, there are also other demands — from APRA for the Executive to repeal the law that makes it mandatory as of August this year for independent workers to start paying into a pension fund; and by both APRA and Fuerza Popular for the Foreign Relations ministry to withddraw the candidacy of Diego Garcia-Sayan in the upcoming regional elections to head the Organization of American States.

Garcia-Sayan, currently chief justice at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights and formerly president of the Andean Commission of Jurists, was Justice Minister in the 2000-2001 transitional government under President Valentin Paniagua, which dismantled the Fujimori government apparatus when President Alberto Fujimori fled the country and sent in his resignation by fax.

Jara, the premier, is the sixth Premier since Humala took office in July 2011. Humala’s Gana Peru party doesn’t have majority in Congress, and needs to rely on opposition lawmakers to get legislation passed.

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