President Dina Boluarte
President Dina Boluarte AFP

Peru's President Dina Boluarte on Monday replaced six ministers, who resigned amid a political crisis sparked by an alleged scandal involving luxury watches.

Boluarte initially lost three Cabinet members when the ministers of interior, education and women abruptly resigned.

Interior Minister Víctor Torres told reporters his resignation was due to a family matter, while the heads of the Ministry of Women, Nancy Tolentino, and of Education, Miriam Ponce, did not mention any reasons to leave, AP News reported.

Their resignations were followed by the ministers of agriculture, production and foreign trade stepping down. After this, Boluarte swore in six new ministers, including Walter Ortiz, a former police officer who had served as director against organized crime, now appointed as the interior minister.

Boluarte's Cabinet comprises 18 ministries, with Gustavo Adrianzén holding the position of prime minister. She has also sworn in Elizabeth Caldo, a former executive at telecommunications giant Telefónica, as the new foreign trade minister while Morgan Quero will serve as education minister.

Lawmakers have formally submitted a request to Parliament, demanding the removal of Boluarte from office on grounds of "permanent moral incapacity."

This request comes in the wake of police forcibly entering her residence three days earlier to search for luxury watches as part of an ongoing investigation. Multiple parties -- including Peru Libre, which Boluarte was previously associated with -- joined hands to put the request in the parliament to remove Boluarte from office.

To remove Boluarte from office, the process requires 87 votes out of the 130-seat unicameral Parliament. As of now, five parties, totaling 54 votes, have declared their support for the president following the raid on her residence.

Aside from removing her from office amid luxury watch allegations, lawmakers also suggested investigating the nationwide surge in crime rate. However, Boluarte has denied the illicit enrichment accusations.

The investigation began after armed police officers entered Boluarte's house forcefully by breaking down the front door in search of Rolex watches. This incident marked the first raid in Peru's history of police forcibly entering the home of a sitting president.

The investigation was initiated in mid-March after a television program highlighted Boluarte wearing a Rolex watch valued at up to $14,000 in Peru. Other television shows also showed at least two more Rolexes in her possession.

The 61-year-old Boluarte was a lawyer and came from a humble background before entering President Pedro Castillo's government on a salary of $8,136 per month in July 2021.

Later she took over the presidency with a lower salary of $4,200 per month, but the investigation probed when she began to show her luxury watches. Furthermore, she did not mention these luxury watches in an obligatory asset declaration form.

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