News / Americas

    Peru's Congress Fails to Ratify Humala's New Cabinet

    Peru's President Ollanta Humala speaks during an interview at the government palace in Lima, July 12, 2014.
    Peru's President Ollanta Humala speaks during an interview at the government palace in Lima, July 12, 2014.
    Reuters

    Peru's President Ollanta Humala failed to find enough support in Congress to ratify his new cabinet on Thursday after key conservative allies withheld their votes, underscoring his waning political power as the economy slows.

    The crisis threatens to topple Humala's sixth cabinet as opposition lawmakers attack the new prime minister, as well as the finance minister and energy and mines minister.

    Complaints about the ministers range from allegations that they cater to lobbyists to criticism of their inability to jumpstart the economy and keep doctors from striking.

    Peru's economic growth rate, once one of the region's fastest, has become ammunition for Humala's critics because it has slowed to its weakest pace in five years.

    After more than 15 hours of debate in Congress, 63 lawmakers abstained from voting to ratify Prime Minister Ana Jara, 50 gave her a vote of confidence and one voted 'no.'

    One opposition lawmaker waved a sign that read “0.3 percent" - June's disappointing year-on-year growth rate - as he called the government inept and unworthy of a vote of confidence.

    Humala swore Jara in as his sixth prime minister in three years in late July. She was previously his labor minister and is widely known as a close friend of the influential First Lady, Nadine Heredia, a frequent target of the opposition.

    If a majority of lawmakers cast 'no' votes against Jara in a future session, the cabinet will be dissolved and Humala will be forced to make new appointments. In the meantime, the cabinet can continue governing as new votes are called.

    Humala appeared unfazed by the political turbulence.

    “I think that once passions calm, Congress will make a decision based on the interests of the country,” Humala said in televised comments to reporters after an event in the northern region of Cajamarca.

    A second vote on the cabinet has been scheduled for Friday morning.

    Humala's previous prime minister underwent three votes before securing congressional approval in March. That marked the first time in more than a decade that the constitutional ratification requirement was not just a routine formality.

    The conservative block of lawmakers that bailed Humala out of the crisis in March by voting for his cabinet at the last minute said it would not do so again this time.

    “The government in general does not give us confidence,” said legislator Luis Galarreta with the PPC party.

    The conservative block of seven lawmakers, known by the initials PPC-ACC and affiliated with former presidential candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, has helped Humala push key economic proposals through Congress in the past.

    Galarreta said it is not demanding that Finance Minister Castilla resign as was reported in local media. But he said Castilla should be replaced with someone more capable of countering the economic slowdown.

    Humala, a centrist former military officer and once a left-leaning radical, has continued the open-market economic policies of his predecessors.   

    You May Like

    Clinton, Trump and the 'Woman’s Card'

    Ask supporters of Democratic front-runner in US presidential campaign, and they’ll tell you Republican presidential candidate is playing a dangerous hand

    Russian Censorship Group Seeks Chinese Help to Better Control Internet

    At recent Safe Internet League forum in Moscow, speakers from both nations underscored desire for authorities to further limit and control information online

    Video Makeshift Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Free classes in Islamabad park serve a few of the country’s nearly 25 million out-of-school youths; NGO cites ‘education crisis’

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensionsi
    X
    April 29, 2016 12:28 AM
    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Turkish Kurd Islamist Rally Stokes Tensions

    In a sign of the rising power of Islamists in Turkey, more than 100,000 people recently gathered in Diyarbakir, the main city in Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, to mark the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad. The gathering highlighted tensions with the pro-secular Kurdish nationalist movement. Dorian Jones reports from Diyarbakir.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Bangladesh Targeted Killings Spark Wave of Fear

    People in Bangladesh’s capital are expressing deep concern over the brutal attacks that have killed secular blogger, and most recently a gay rights activist and an employee of the U.S. embassy. Xulhaz Mannan, an embassy protocol officer and the editor of the country’s only gay and transgender magazine Roopban; and his friend Mehboob Rabbi Tanoy, a gay rights activist, were hacked to death by five attackers in Mannan’s Dhaka home earlier this month.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.
    Video

    Video West Urges Unity in Libya as Migrant Numbers Soar

    The Italian government says a NATO-led mission aimed at stemming the flow of migrants from Libya to Europe could be up and running by July. There are concerns that the number of migrants could soar as the route through Greece and the Balkans remains blocked. Western powers say the political chaos in Libya is being exploited by people smugglers — and they are pressuring rival groups to come together under the new unity government. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Russia’s TV Rain Swims Against Tide in Sea of Kremlin Propaganda

    Russia’s media freedoms have been gradually eroded under President Vladimir Putin as his government has increased state ownership, influence, and restrictions on critical reporting. Television, where most Russians get their news, has been the main target and is now almost completely state controlled. But in the Russian capital, TV Rain stands out as an island in a sea of Kremlin propaganda.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora

    More Americas News

    Venezuela's Top Beer Maker Halts Output in Dispute with Government

    President threatened earlier in week to seize any plants halted by private companies and hand them over to workers

    US Reports Its First Zika-Related Death

    Puerto Rican man in his 70s died from internal bleeding related to rare immune reaction to Zika virus infection in February

    Rio Olympic Flame Visits UN Office in Geneva

    Flame, which was lit in Greece last week, was brought to UN for first time before it heads to Brazil for torch relay ahead of opening ceremony in Rio on Aug. 5

    Britain Foreign Secretary Visits Cuba for First Time in Nearly 60 Years

    Philip Hammond signed several cooperation agreements on energy, education and financial services

    In 'Papa,' Hemingway Returns to Cuba via Silver Screen

    Film about Nobel Prize-winning author is first full-length Hollywood feature produced on island since 1959 Cuban Revolution

    Victims of Chile Colony Hope German Documents Bring Justice

    For three decades beginning in 1961, the enclave of Colonia Dignidad, or Dignity Colony, founded by Paul Schaefer, was the site of torture, slavery and child abuse