- Title: Peru Congress ousts finance minister in blow to president
- Date: 22nd June 2017
- Summary: LIMA, PERU (JUNE 21, 2017) (REUTERS) GENERAL VIEW OF INTERIOR OF CONGRESS VARIOUS OF LEGISLATORS IN SEATS ON FLOOR OPPOSITION LEGISLATOR ARGUING IN FAVOR OF DISMISSAL OF FINANCE MINISTER ALFREDO THORNE (NOT A SOUNDBITE) GENERAL VIEW OF CONGRESS FLOOR PRESIDENT, LUZ SALGADO, CALLING FOR VOTE LEGISLATORS IN SEATS SALGADO READING OUT RESULTS (NOT A SOUNDBITE) BOARD DISPLAYING VOTES LEGISLATORS IN SEATS INTERIOR OF HALL OF CONGRESS (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SPOKESMAN FOR CENTER-RIGHT "PERUVIANS FOR CHANGE" PARTY, CARLOS BRUCE, SAYING: "He [Finance Minister Alfredo Thorne] was doing a good job with our economy. Look, in the midst of two very large shocks that the Peruvian economy has had on this issue of Odebrecht, which has paralyzed many investments and the issue of a Phenomenon of the Child [referring to pending legislation], the most serious of the last 20 years. But our economy will grow between 2.5 percent and three percent this year, well above the Latin American average, well above the Pacific Alliance countries. So he's been doing a good job, but that's the way the rules are, the opposition has the majority and we just have to abide by what Congress has decided." OPPOSITION LEGISLATOR FROM "POPULAR FORCE" PARTY, LUIS GALARRETA, APPROACHING CAMERA (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) OPPOSITION LEGISLATOR FROM "POPULAR FORCE" PARTY, LUIS GALARRETA, SAYING: "Here the Minister of State [referring to Thorne] has unfortunately made a question of confidence about what he would have liked to do and the Congress mostly - we are talking about five groups of six - it's not just Popular Force - have said that they cannot give the confidence to a minister whose results are not positive and who also has audio compromising his personal attitude." EXTERIOR OF CONGRESS
- Embargoed: 6th July 2017 00:47
- Keywords: finance minister Pedro Pablo Kuczynski Alfredo Thorne
- Location: LIMA, PERU
- City: LIMA, PERU
- Country: Peru
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016M84EV7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Peru's Congress dismissed the finance minister on Wednesday (June 21) following revelations that he asked the comptroller to green light a controversial project, a fresh blow to centrist President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and his efforts to jumpstart the faltering economy.
The single-chamber Congress voted 88-11 against embattled Finance Minister Alfredo Thorne, who had asked for a vote of confidence amid threats of censure and promised to resign immediately if he did not win support.
The outcome ended the crisis over one of Kuczynski's closest cabinet members, but the dispute further strained relations between the opposition-dominated Congress and the executive.
Lawmakers railed against Thorne for refusing to accept wrongdoing after an audio recording surfaced in which he appeared to ask the comptroller to approve a modification to a $520 million airport contract in exchange for a bigger budget.
Thorne, whom Kuczynski has defended, denied using funding for the comptroller's office to try to secure a favorable review of the contract modification, which the government had promised to rescind on the comptroller's recommendation.
The vote marked the first time in decades that Congress has rejected a finance minister - an embarrassing rebuke for Kuczynski after he campaigned on promises to strengthen the economy and clean up government as a former Wall Street banker and World Bank economist.
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