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2/24/14

Why the Prime Minister of Peru just resigned: Short answer and long answer


Long answer: A few days ago (now ex) prime minister César Villanueva (who was only recently shipped into the job to plug a hole, too) told the press and public that he'd been discussing a potential rise in the minimum wage in Peru with the Finance Minister, Luis Castilla.

Then yesterday evening, same Castilla went on one of the most popular weekend current affairs TV shows and said "Nope, haven't discussed that at all with him". Here's the vid, (or on this link, as people tell me the vid isn't showing) with the key section between 2:00 and 5:00 approx:



Thing is, as Prime Minister and cabinet chief, Villanueva is (in theory at least) Castilla's boss, so for an ostensible underling to go on TV and do what he did to the supposed #2 political power in the country (after the Prez) is a big political slap in the face. But this is where it gets politico-gossipy, because it's well known that 1) Castilla is the real power behind the throne 2) is first lady Nadine's fave 3) and he wouldn't have said what he did without his boss's permission (most likely Nadine, who then instructed the Head of State what was about to happen. In any normal government, this kind of dissent from an underling would mean the underling is sacked (and immediately), but in Peru the boss gets the boot and the Humala-family favourite right winger FinMin gets to stay and become even more powerful. The whole episode is a crystalline insight into how fragile and Nadine-centric this current government is, and it's impressive just how easily they could decide to throw their unimportant PM under the nearest bus. The Ollanta government is quickly turning into a weak joke.

UPDATE: Rumour now that Castilla is getting the boot, too. Shall see about that, but there's enough hoo-hah being kicked up by the event that might get Humala to do the right thing. Equally, there has beena  rumour floating around for a couple of weeks that Ghezzi is lined up for the Finmin's job. What a freakin' joke of a way to run a government, seriously.

UPDATE 2: Castilla's staying at his post, not going anywhere, we now hear. As you were, Nadine's Ollanta's made her his mind up.