Alfredo Thorne, Peru’s Minister of Economy and Finance and close confidant of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, resigned yesterday after losing a vote of no confidence in the opposition controlled congress.
Recently a secret audio recording was made public which suggests that Thorne offered Edgar Alarcon, a high-ranking official in the comptroller’s office, a bigger budget in exchange for a favorable opinion on controversial modifications to the contract for Cusco’s new airport.
After Thorne, who was named best minister of Latin America in his area by the Latin America business magazine América Economía at the beginning of this year, denied any wrongdoing and refused to resign, the Peruvian congress dominated by right-wing Keiko Fujimori's Popular Force party, threatened to censure him and force his dismissal.
The highly respected Peruvian economist then asked for a vote of no confidence which resulted in 88 votes against him, 11 in his favor and 2 abstentions. Thereupon the minister stepped down from his office. His successor, presumably another business-friendly specialist, will be appointed in the coming days.
Alfredo Thorne is already the 3rd minister that was forced from office by the Peruvian congress since President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski took office last July. The dismissal leaves the Peruvian Head of State short of yet another close friend and advisor in his efforts to bring the South America country forward.