Peru’s Prime Minister Anibal Torres has resigned, amid a widening criminal investigation focused on the nation’s president, President Pedro Castillo, who has grown increasingly isolated after one year in office.
Torres, a lawyer and one of Castillo’s most loyal allies, said in a letter shared on social media on Wednesday that he was resigning due to “personal reasons”.
“I am withdrawing from office after having served our homeland and its most neglected and forgotten people, together with you.” he wrote in the resignation letter addressed to Castillo.
“Today I have to return to the university classrooms with my students, and take up what I missed the most: legal research.”
Castillo, who took office a year ago, has overseen unprecedented turnover in senior government posts during his administration. He will now have to name his fifth prime minister since taking office last July, a move that often comes with other changes to the cabinet.
The president is also the target of five criminal investigations, including two that are probing whether he is part of a “criminal organisation”. According to Peruvian law, a president can be investigated while in office, but cannot be charged.
Castillo’s critics have seized on news of the prime minister’s resignation.
“It gives the impression that he is exhausted politically and physically; and he no longer even wants to continue in office,” Jorge Montoya, the leader of the ultra-conservative Popular Renewal party, told local news outlet RPP Noticias.