Peru’s embattled president replaces 6 ministers as lawmakers ask Parliament to remove her

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LIMA, Peru, April 2, (AP): Peruvian President Dina Boluarte replaced six ministers after they resigned as her government is rocked by a political crisis fueled by an alleged illicit enrichment scandal involving luxury watches.
The Cabinet shakeup Monday came as lawmakers submitted to Parliament a request to remove her from office for “permanent moral incapacity” three days after police broke down the front door of her residence to search for the watches as part of an investigation.
The request was submitted by lawmakers from various parties including Peru Libre to which Boluarte once belonged. To remove Boluarte, the move requires 87 votes from the 130-seat unicameral Parliament, and so far, five parties that together have 54 votes expressed support for the president following the raid.
Boluarte is being preliminarily investigated for allegedly acquiring an undisclosed collection of luxury watches since becoming vice president and social inclusion minister in July 2021 and then president in December 2022.
Lawmakers in their request to remove her from office cite the investigation against Boluarte as well as countrywide problems, such as rising crime.
She has denied the illicit enrichment accusations.
Late Friday, armed police officers broke down the front door of Boluarte’s house with a battering ram in search of Rolex watches. The raid marked the first time in Peru’s history that police forcibly entered the home of a sitting president.
The probe began in mid-March after a TV show spotlighted Boluarte wearing a Rolex watch that is worth up to $14,000 in Peru. Other TV shows later mentioned at least two more Rolexes.
Boluarte, a 61-year-old lawyer, was a modest district official before entering then-President Pedro Castillo’s government on a monthly salary of $8,136 in July 2021. Boluarte later assumed the presidency with a lower salary of $4,200 per month. Shortly thereafter, she began to display the luxury watches.
she did not list the three watches in an obligatory asset declaration form.
On Monday, Boluarte initially lost three Cabinet members when the ministers of interior, education and women abruptly resigned.

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