|Fernández said to the press, " Leave the president alone." (Photo: Diario16)|
President Alan García sworn in Rosario Fernández as Peru’s new prime minister at a ceremony held Saturday at the Government Palace in Lima, reported Andina.
Rosario del Pilar Fernández Figueroa replaces former Cabinet chief José Antonio Chang Escobedo, who presented his resignation Friday for personal reasons.
Chang, who also served as education minister, was honored with Peru’s Order of the Sun for his service to the country.
Fernández Figueroa will remain as justice minister, while Víctor Raúl Díaz Chávez took oath as education minister at the same ceremony.
After the ceremony, Fernández spoke with the press, making a firm defense of García, who has been criticized by some presidential candidates accusing him of intromission in the presidential elections.
“Presidential candidates should talk more about their government plans and leave the president alone; the president is not a candidate," she said to Diario 16.
The new prime minister denied there was a "crisis" in García’s administration. She said the government is preparing a "transparent and orderly fashion" transfer to the next administration.
Fernández is the second woman to become prime minister in Peru. The first was Beatriz Merino (2002-2003) during Toledo’s administration.
The other members of the Cabinet have kept their posts, including José Antonio García Belaunde as foreign minister, Enrique Cornejo as transport and communications minister, Pedro Sánchez as energy and mines minister, and Eduardo Ferreyros as trade and tourism minister.
Also, Jaime Thorne as defense minister, Óscar Ugarte as health minister, Virginia Borra as women’s affairs minister, Jorge Villasante as production minister, Ismael Benavides as finance minister, Manuela García as labor minister, and Rafael Quevedo as agriculture minister.
Juan Sarmiento, Miguel Hidalgo, Antonio Brack and Juan Ossio also retained the housing, interior, environment and culture portfolios, respectively.
Watch Fernández sworing as prime minister (Video footage – Canal N):