The Peruvian Council of Ministers received the vote of confidence from Congress, eight months after its start of office, despite the vote against three opposition groups, including the leftist Frente Amplio and Fuerza Popular de former presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori.
The support for the cabinet chaired by Vicente Zeballos had 89 votes in favor issued by the parties Acción Popular, Alianza para el Progreso (APP), Frente Popular Agrícola del Perú (Frepap), Somos Perú, Podemos, Partido Morado and the legislator no grouped Arlette Contreras.
For its part, the leftist Frente Amplio, the Unión por el Perú (UPP) party, which has among its members followers of Antauro Humala, the brother imprisoned for the murder of former president Ollanta Humala; and the Fujimorista Popular Force cast 35 votes against confidence in the cabinet.
Four other legislators, from the Popular Action party and the Broad Front, abstained in the vote that ended in the early hours of this Friday, after a long plenary session.
CRITICIZE MANAGEMENT OF PANDEMIC
Criticism of the opposition was directed at the government’s measures to face the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused more than 140,000 infections in the country and places it as the second most affected country in South America, after Brazil.
Popular Force legislator Diethell Columbus stated that “it has been shameful the way the Executive has undermined the rights of public and private workers in recent weeks, as well as scandalous not having done anything for the millions of Peruvians who they live in informality. “
For his part, the congressman of the Broad Front, Marco Arana, justified the vote against his caucus because the Executive pays more attention to business unions than to microentrepreneurs and agricultural producers in this crisis, as well as for the apparent ” oblivion “in which indigenous peoples are found.
From the other side, Congressman Daniel Urresti, from the Podemos party, voted in favor of confidence, despite being clear that actions against the coronavirus may be insufficient.
“Are we losing the war against the coronavirus? Yes. But it would be suicidal to be left without a ministerial cabinet in the middle of this war,” said the former military man.
EMERGENCY SANITARY MEASURES
The Health Minister, Víctor Zamora, explained that his sector has expanded the capacity for care and diagnosis since the pandemic began and asked legislators to work with the Executive during the health emergency, which was decreed in March and will last until 30 June.
During his presentation to Congress, the head of the cabinet reported that Peru currently has 1,090 beds in the Intensive Care Units (ICU), of which 926 are with a ventilator occupied; and 10,965 hospital beds available, of which 8,627 are occupied.
The government’s expectation is to reach 20,000 hospital beds by the end of June, and 2,000 beds in the ICU, Zeballos added.
In turn, the Minister of Economy, María Antonieta Alva, asked parliamentarians for responsibility, before the proposals that raise the availability of the total state pension funds, because that measure would harm retired workers.
At the end of his presentation to Congress, the Prime Minister apologized for the “deficiencies” that the Government may have committed during the emergency, but stressed that difficult decisions were made with the well-being of Peruvians in mind and based on scientific evidence.
CABINET AFTER CLOSING OF CONGRESS
Zeballos assumed the position of prime minister as soon as President Martín Vizcarra decreed at the end of last September, the closure of the Congress elected in 2016, with whom he had a serious crisis, and the call for new parliamentary elections.
In compliance with the provisions of the Constitution, Zeballos should have received the approval of the new congressmen as soon as they had assumed their seats, a date that however coincided with the arrival of the Covid-19 in the country and the decree of the State of Emergency which to date prevented compliance with the process.
In his speech, Zeballos affirmed that all the measures adopted since the previous Congress was dissolved and the entry into office of the new Parliament “conform to the Constitution” and respond to the five axes of government policy.
Those axes are related to the fight against corruption, institutional strengthening, economic growth, social development and well-being of the population, and decentralization.