Amid Scandal Over President’s Rolex Watches. A Key Vote In Peru by StuffsEarth

Estimated read time 12 min read

President Dina Boluarte came to power in December 2022.

Lima, Peru:

Peru’s embattled government will on Wednesday ask Congress for a vote of confidence that collides with its umpteenth scandal: how the president came to own a collection of pricey Rolex watches and jewelry.

Prime Minister Gustavo Adrianzen was appointed only a month ago after his predecessor resigned over a scandal in which he allegedly granted political favors to a much younger love interest.

Like any new prime minister, Adrianzen has to go before Congress to receive the green light to proceed in the post.

But the scheduled vote of confidence comes in the same week that six ministers resigned after a police raid on President Dina Boluarte’s home and offices, making it a key litmus test of support for her fragile government.

If lawmakers deny Adrianzen a vote of confidence, he will have to step down.

Such an outcome would only deepen the turmoil in Peru, which is on its sixth president in eight years.

The 61-year-old Boluarte, who holds rock-bottom approval ratings, is being investigated for suspected illegal enrichment and failing to declare her luxury timepieces – a scandal dubbed Rolexgate by local media.

On the eve of the vote, attorney general Juan Villena announced an expansion of the probe into Boluarte’s possession of a “$56,000 Cartier bracelet” and other jewelry valued at more than $500,000. Bank deposits of about $250,000 are also being investigated.

Congress to decide

Boluarte came to power in December 2022 after former president Pedro Castillo tried to dissolve Congress and rule by decree, leading to his arrest and violent protests demanding she step down, and that fresh elections be held.

She is also facing a constitutional complaint over a crackdown on those protests which led to the deaths of more than 50 people.

Her approval rating stands at around 10 percent.

None of the watches were found in the raids, and the prosecutor’s office has ordered her to present the timepieces during her deposition on Friday.

If she is indicted in the Rolex case, a trial could not take place until after her term ends in July 2026 or she is impeached, according to the constitution. 

Peru’s constitution gives Congress outsized power in being able to remove presidents, with impeachment requiring only 87 votes out of 130 lawmakers. 

Impeachment votes can be brought on a vague “moral incapacity” provision that does not require lawmakers to show legal wrongdoing.

So it would be in “Congress where it will be decided whether she remains in the presidency,” said analyst Augusto Alvarez Rodrich.

Leftist lawmakers have presented three motions to impeach Boluarte — the latest started Monday — but none have yet advanced to debate.

Congress is controlled by a majority of right-wing parties who support Boluarte.

The analyst Alvarez, who is also a columnist with the La Republica newspaper, said impeachment is unlikely as Congress would prefer to “avoid the risk” of early elections being called.

“The main forces in Congress intend to maintain the status quo as long as possible,” said political scientist Carlos Melendez, from Chile’s Diego Portales university.

But he said it would be “a miracle” if Boluarte made it to the end of her term “because no one wants to be an ally of an unpopular president” when 2026 elections roll around.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by StuffsEarth staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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