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Peru’s prime minister steps down after alleged audio leak

LIMA (Reuters) -Peruvian Prime Minister Alberto Otarola said on Tuesday he had tendered his resignation after an audio recording came out over the weekend purporting to be of the official attempting to improperly influence government contracts.

Otarola told media the recording was made in 2021, when he was not a government official, and was manipulated and edited as part of a conspiracy by his political opponents.

He had previously denied committing any crimes after the recording was made public.

With Otarola’s departure, the other 18 cabinet members must now also resign, according to Peruvian law. President Dina Boluarte has the choice to reinstate each cabinet member or swap them out for a new minister.

The audio, published by local media, appears to be of Otarola speaking to a woman who later went on to work in various government roles.

Otarola returned early from a trip to Canada, where he was representing Peru at a mining convention.

Earlier on Tuesday, Foreign Minister Javier Gonzalez-Olaechea said that Boluarte would make changes to her cabinet as part of a “relaunch of the government’s general policy.”

Cabinet shake-ups have become common in Peru. Just last month, Boluarte shuffled her cabinet, swapping out four ministers, including those heading the economy and mining, as the Andean nation works to lift its shaky economy out of a recession.

(Reporting by Lincoln Feast)

Source: The Star

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