Wed, 23 Sep 2020

LIMA, Aug. 4 (Xinhua) -- Peru's Congress on Tuesday denied a vote of confidence in the cabinet, leading to President Martin Vizcarra's announcement of a reshuffle.

Peruvian legislators debated the request for a confidence vote in the president's Council of Ministers for more than 15 hours in a plenary session that was held virtually due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The motion was defeated with 54 votes against, 37 in favor, and 34 abstentions.

In a nationally televised address, Vizcarra criticized lawmakers for denying the vote of confidence, saying it generated "uncertainty" at a difficult time marked by a health crisis and economic hardship.

"This decision only generates unnecessary uncertainty under the current circumstances. This is not a time ... to play with the country's destiny," said Vizcarra.

Prime Minister Pedro Cateriano appeared before Congress on Monday to request the confidence vote, informing legislators for more than three hours of the government's plans for healthcare, economic recovery, and education in the context of the pandemic.

On the same day, Cateriano warned that the novel coronavirus pandemic could raise the level of poverty in Peru by 10 percent.

Cateriano was named to head the cabinet in mid-July. He had held the position from 2015 to 2016 during the government of former President Ollanta Humala.

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