Toledo’s Party Faces Setback as Lawmakers Split Off

Toledo Alejandro 2013Former President Alejandro Toledo’s Peru Posible party has taken another blow, with five of the lawmakers breaking off from the party on Wednesday.

Lawmakers Mariano Portugal, Marco Falconi, Cecilia Tait, Norman Lewis, and Wuiliam Monterola announced that they would form a new political group, called Regional Union, citing irreconcilable differences. Congressman Yehude Simon, an independent, will also join the new group, daily Peru.21 reported.

The resignations come at a tough time for Peru Posible, which is tightly controlled by Toledo. The former President, who governed from 2001 to 2006 and won the elections under the banner of anti-corruption, has come under fire lately for allegations of wrongdoing in the purchase of two expensive real-estate properties by his mother-in-law. The questions are on the provenance of the money to buy the properties. Early this month, state attorney Julio Arbizu authorized the lifting of banking secrecy on Toledo’s accounts.

The Peru Posible party was also split over its role last week in the controversial appointment of officials to key posts in the high court and the Defensoria del Pueblo. Congress annuled those appointments on Wednesday following protests that lawmakers were politicizing the institutions by appointing allies, including some with questionable pasts.  The party’s Pilar Freitas was elected to become the public ombudsman, but has since resigned due to heavy criticism on her own performance in previous public positions.  At least three Peru Posible members walked out before the vote, along with members of other political parties.

The resignations of the lawmakers from Peru Posible leaves the group with 10 representatives in Congress.

The resignations also create uncertainty for President Ollanta Humala’s Gana Peru party, which has a minority in Congress and has relied on Peru Posible lawmakers to pass legislation.

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