Peru's Congress renews confidence in Vizcarra's cabinet

LIMA (Reuters) – Peru’s opposition-run Congress renewed its confidence in the cabinet of President Martin Vizcarra on Wednesday, averting a political crisis that could have forced new legislative elections.

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra greets Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva outside Government Palace in Lima, Peru September 19, 2018. Courtesy of Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

The 82-22 vote in favor of Vizcarra commits Congress to passing his judicial and political reforms, and marks a rare victory over the conservative opposition party that controls the single-chamber legislature.

Vizcarra called for a vote of confidence late on Sunday to force passage of legislation to curb graft and rebuild trust in public institutions following back-to-back scandals in recent years.

Under Peru’s constitution, a vote of no-confidence would have forced Vizcarra to replace his entire cabinet, but he would have been allowed to call new legislative elections.

Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Darren Schuettler

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