Bloomberg News

Peruvian President Humala Names Valdes to Head Cabinet

December 12, 2011

(Adds new cabinet chief’s comment in third paragraph.)

Dec. 10 (Bloomberg) -- Peruvian President Ollanta Humala appointed Interior Minister Oscar Valdes Dancuart to be his next cabinet chief after the unexpected resignation of Salomon Lerner.

“The head of state has accepted the resignation of Mr. Lerner, thanking him for his important services to the nation,” according to a statement today from the Presidential Palace. The entire cabinet has resigned as required following Lerner’s departure and a new cabinet will be named tomorrow night at 8 p.m. New York time, Valdes said.

“There is no crisis, there is a readjustment of the cabinet, as is often done,” Valdes, a 62-year-old former army lieutenant colonel, told reporters today at the palace in Lima. “Finance Minister Miguel Castilla will remain in his post.”

A former deputy trade minister, Lerner was among a slate of cabinet members that Humala appointed after taking office in July, in a bid to win over investors nervous about his past support for state control over the economy. No reason was given for Lerner’s departure.

Lerner’s departure came after Newmont Mining Corp. on Nov. 30 suspended its $4.8 billion Minas Conga gold deposit, Peru’s largest investment project, amidst anti-mining protests. Humala, a former army lieutenant, quelled the protests by declaring a state of emergency in the northern Andes on Dec. 4.

--Editors: Mike Millard, Bill Faries

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To contact the reporters on this story: Bill Faries in Buenos Aires at wfaries@bloomberg.net; Alex Emery in Lima at aemery1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net


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