Opposition-controlled Congress dismissed the cabinet of centre-right President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, pitching the country into its worst political crisis in years.
Peruvian President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's cabinet was forced to resign Friday after losing a vote of confidence in the opposition-controlled Congress plunging the copper-producing Andean country into its worst political crisis in years.
The single-chamber legislature is dominated by the Popular Force party, led by Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of ex-president Alberto Fujimori who is currently in jail for human rights atrocities and corruption.
By law, after Congress delivers a no-confidence vote the cabinet must be renewed, and Kuczynski's new nominees must obtain legislative approval.
However if the candidates are rejected, Kuczynski can dissolve Congress and call for new legislative elections.
Both Kuczynski and the legislators were elected to serve until 2021.
The vote of confidence, requested by Prime Minister Fernando Zavala, was rejected soon after midnight Thursday 77-22, with 16 abstentions.
"In consequence, a total crisis has been generated in the cabinet," said the head of Congress, Fujimori loyalist Luis Galarreta.
President's clashes with Congress
Kuczynski had earlier suspended his trip to New York, where he was scheduled to speak at the UN General Assembly, and to the Vatican, until after the vote.
During his first year as president Kuczynski has lost three cabinet ministers in clashes with Congress.
The political crisis was triggered by a motion of censure being prepared by the 'Fujimoristas' in Congress against the education minister over her handling of a lengthy teacher's strike.
Kuczynski says the motion was aimed at undercutting his education reforms, a centerpiece of his government plans.
Keiko Fujimori, a fierce Kuczynski critic, narrowly lost presidential elections in 2011 and 2016.
She is also under investigation over suspected links to the Odebrecht corruption scandal that has tainted politicians across Latin America.
Her father Alberto Fujimori is a divisive figure in Peru, considered a corrupt dictator by some but admired by others who credit him with fixing the economy and ending a bloody insurgency in the 1990s.
Kuczynski, a 78-year-old former Wall Street banker who has vowed to modernise Peru and revive economic growth, took office a year ago with one of the weakest mandates of any president, having beat Keiko Fujimori by a razor-thin margin while his party only secured a small portion of seats in Congress.