President Ollanta Humala’s nominee for prime minister held meetings with the leaders of Peru’s various political parties before a vote to confirm his cabinet.
Former defense minister and current prime minister Pedro Cateriano has met with Alan Garcia, Keiko Fujimori and other political leaders to establish support ahead of the congressional vote to confirm his nomination.
Cateriano’s most difficult meeting was with former President and Apra party leader Alan Garcia on Friday. Over 20 years ago, Cateriano headed a commission to investigate Garcia after his first presidential term. His investigation was cut short by the 1992 “auto-golpe,” in which Alberto Fujimori dissolved congress. In 1994 Cateriano published “The Garcia Case,” a book detailing his findings which included titles such as “The Apra nightmare” and “The chaos and the night.” Cateriano has told the press that, if Fujimori had not dissolved congress, Garcia would have been indicted for illegal enrichment.
Despite their history, Garcia and Cateriano shook hands for press photos after the meeting. “We are 15 months from the end of this government. I believe that Cateriano can build the leadership necessary to reach our goals in citizen security,” Garcia said.
On Thursday Cateriano met with presidential candidate and leader of the Popular Strength party, Keiko Fujimori. While Fujimori did not make a statement to the press in regards to their meeting, Cateriano said afterwards that “all dialog is positive in a democracy.”
Cateriano has also met with presidential candidate Pedro Pablo Kuczynscki, former President Alejandro Toledo, Christian People’s Party leader Luis Bedoya and Lima mayor Luis Castañeda. Today Cateriano meets with Mesias Guevara, leader of the Popular Action party. Yesterday Guevara told Andina, “I believe the [prime minister] should receive the vote of confidence, the endorsement. I also believe that all the legislators in general, despite ideological and personal differences, should ensure governance.”
On March 30, Peru’s congress censured prime minister Ana Jara, a move which effectively dismissed Humala’s entire cabinet. On April 2, Humala nominated Cateriano prime minister of a cabinet that remained largely the same. If congress does not approve this cabinet in a simple majority vote, Humala retains the right to dissolve congress and call fresh elections.
Cateriano’s meetings seem to have tempered the political climate in Peru. The only party leader who has not expressed explicit support is Keiko Fujimori, who told RPP before her meeting with the prime minister that she is “skeptical about these talks, because at this point they haven’t generated any concrete result for the people.” Despite her reluctance to publicly endorse Cateriano, Fujimori’s Popular Strength party could not block Cateriano’s nomination without backing from other political parties.
The vote of confidence for Humala’s cabinet nominations will be held by May 2.
Pedro Cateriano dialogó con Luis Castañeda Lossio (La Republica)