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Controversial Peruvian Foreign Minister Resigns


A controversial political ally of Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo stepped down as foreign minister Saturday, two days after his appointment sparked a political crisis.

Foreign Minister Fernando Olivera took office Thursday, prompting Prime Minister Carlos Ferrero and Housing Minister Carlos Bruce to announce their "irrevocable resignations" in protest.

The prime minister's decision forced President Toledo to ask the entire Cabinet to resign. Under Peru's Constitution, once a prime minister steps down, all ministers must tender their resignations.

Mr. Olivera says he was a victim of a political ambush by Mr. Ferrero, saying the former prime minister met with him this past week and approved the appointment to the foreign minister's post.

Mr. Olivera recently clashed with several top ministers by arguing in favor of ordinances legalizing some cultivation of coca, the raw material for cocaine.

Some information for this report provided by AP, Reuters.

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