Peruvian President Appoints Member of His Party as Prime Minister

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Guido Bellido, 42, is a member of the Marxist party Peru Livre, which led the socialist Castillo to the presidency for a five-year government

O Peruvian president, Pedro Castillo, appointed the government parliamentarian Guido Bellido as prime minister on Thursday, a sign of the pressure the left-wing party can exert on the new head of state.

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Bellido, 42, is a member of the Marxist party Peru Livre, which led the socialist Castillo to the presidency for a five-year government.

The new chief of staff, a native of the Andean region of Cusco and who spoke the Quechua indigenous language when he was sworn in for the position, is little known in Lima’s political milieu, holds a master’s degree in economics and worked for the state statistics agency.

The nomination was announced by Castillo in the Andean region of Ayacucho, where the president took a new oath to the office, symbolically in the Pampa de la Quinua, the scene of the battle that sealed Peru’s independence two centuries ago.

Analysts say the Free Peru party could become a focus of pressure on Castillo to push for more radical left-wing reforms, particularly in the economy, after more than three decades of market-friendly policies that have turned the country into a relatively safe haven in volatile Latin America.

Castillo had announced on Wednesday, in his first message to the country as governor, that he would seek a constitutional reform that would allow a referendum and call an assembly to draft a constitution to replace the 1993 one.

Bellido is considered a close collaborator of the ruling party’s founder, physician Vladimir Cerrón, an admirer of the left-wing governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia, who was unable to run for president due to a conviction for corruption. Bellido’s appointment is likely to further scare investors.

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