LIMA (Reuters) – New Peruvian Prime Minister Mirtha Vasquez has said that overhauling the country’s pro-market constitution is currently not a priority for the government, although it has been a key election promise.
“This government is not proposing (to change the constitution) and will not propose it overnight,” Vasquez said in one of his first interviews on Friday night with public television Peru. “Right now, what matters is dealing with the pandemic … and above all generating economic stability.”
Vasquez, a former congress leader, is the second person to become prime minister under President Pedro Castillo, who has only been in office for two months.
She is a leftist politician, but considered more moderate than her predecessor https://www.reuters.com/world/americas/perus-castillo-says-pm-has-resigned-two-months-into-his- administration-2021 -10-06, who resigned earlier this week. Vasquez also does not belong to the same party as Castillo, the Marxist-Leninist Party of Free Peru.
His remarks will further calm investors who have been frightened by Castillo’s campaign promise to reformulate Peru’s pro-market constitution.
They also show that Castillo’s administration is moving away from the more left-wing ideas championed by the Free Peru Party, which views amending the constitution as perhaps its most important proposal.
Peru’s currency and stock market rallied after Vasquez’s appointment as prime minister.
The leader of the Free Peru Party, Vladimir Cerron, tweeted earlier Friday that he was not happy with the new cabinet because, in his opinion, it “will be a space from which to defend the status quo”.
Vasquez is a lawyer and has represented Indigenous communities in conflict with large mining companies, including in a landmark case against Newmont Mining Corp’s Yanacocha gold mine.
Still, she said Castillo’s government will support mining, a key source of tax revenue for the country, which is the world’s second largest producer of copper.
“One of our biggest bets is to leverage resources and conduct a business like mining,” she said.
(Reporting by Marcelo Rochabrun; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)