The prime minister of Peru, Salomón Lerner Ghitis, resigned on Saturday. He has been replaced by the former Minister of the Interior, Oscar Valdes.
There are various reports as to why PM Lerner stepped down. One report says that it is in response to leftists who want President Humala to dismiss the moderates in his cabinet. The same report states that Peruvian cabinets traditionally step down in December. This may be true, but the PM does not usually leave at this time. Another report stresses the impact of the ongoing popular dispute in Minas Conga against the proposed gold mining development there. President Humala recently declared a state of emergency as the authorities had been finding it difficult to control the protests. For the Peruvian Times, the appointment of PM Valdes is a sign that the administration will take a hard line against the protests.
PM Lerner had been office for just 5 months, which is about the average time for a Peruvian head of government.