World news

Dina Boluarte takes the reins of the country in the midst of political chaos

Vice-president of Peru since July 2021, Dina Boluarte became, on December 7, the first woman at the head of the country, following the dismissal of Pedro Castillo for “moral incapacity” and his arrest for attempting to dissolve Parliament.

This 60-year-old lawyer, still unknown in politics only four years ago, is from the Apurímac region, in the south of the country, whose population is mainly from the indigenous Quechua people, whose language she speaks. The youngest of a family of 14 children, she studied law in Lima, before working for seventeen years as a legal advisor to the National Registry of Identification and Civil Status of Peru.

Breaking up with Castillo

After running unsuccessfully for the post of mayor of the Surquillo district in Lima in 2018, Dina Boluarte ran for Congress two years later under the colors of the Marxist-inspired Free Peru party, to which Pedro Castillo also belongs. . But again, she fails. The following year, she nonetheless became Castillo’s running mate, who narrowly won the presidential election against right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori.

Appointed in July 2021 Minister of Development and Social Inclusion and to the post of Vice-President, she is one of the most prominent figures in the government before resigning two weeks ago. Dina Boluarte then expressed her disappointment at the president’s choice to appoint a new prime minister, Betsy Chavez, the fifth in just over a year.

Pinned by the Comptroller General of the Republic

Remaining in her post as vice-president, she ends up breaking definitively with Pedro Castillo by denouncing on Twitter “a coup that aggravates the political and institutional crisis of Peruvian society”. In July, she said she was ready to assume the duties of president in the event of the departure of the head of state, already battered by several scandals.

If Dina Boluarte was recently singled out by the Comptroller General of the Republic for having held a position in the private sector at the same time as her office as a civil servant, a combination prohibited by Peruvian law, she quickly recognized the facts, arguing from a dysfunction “purely bureaucratic”. A congressional committee dismissed the lawsuit against her for “alleged constitutional violation”.

Towards a government of national unity?

In accordance with the Constitution of Peru, the lawyer now assumes interim power until the next elections in 2026. In her inaugural speech, she called for dialogue between the different political forces and the fight against corruption. And also declared herself ready to continue to represent the poorest populations, the main base of support for her predecessor during the 2021 presidential election.

Pressed to act, Dina Boluarte has the heavy task of having to form an open government while the right-wing opposition largely dominates Congress. It will also have to restore confidence among Peruvians in a political class marked by a history of unpopularity, between corruption, impeachment trials and deep divisions. “We all have to do everything we can to make this work well,” tweeted his opponent Keiko Fujimori, just after the nomination.


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