(Adds names and background on new ministers)
LIMA, June 23 Peru's President Ollanta Humala
replaced his foreign affairs, interior and transportation
ministers on Monday in a surprise cabinet shake-up as his
popularity sinks to new lows.
Humala swore in Gonzalo Gutierrez, Peru's ambassador to top
trade partner China, as his new foreign affairs minister. Daniel
Urresti, currently the czar in charge of preventing illegal
mining, will become the sixth interior minister.
Jose Gallardo, an economist on the board of the central
bank, became Humala's new transportation and communications
Humala, a former left-leaning military officer who turned to
the right after being elected to the country's top job in July
2011, did not say why he made the replacements.
Environment Minister Manuel Pulgar-Vidal remained in power
despite speculation he might step down after Humala proposed
weakening some of his ministry's functions in an economic reform
package delivered to Congress.
Humala has reshuffled his cabinet several times in his
nearly three-year administration, as disappointment with
unfulfilled electoral promises, concerns about crime and
corruption and relatively sluggish economic growth over the past
year have deflated his popularity.
Humala's approval rating slipped to 21 percent this month -
a new low in his administration, according to an Ipsos poll.
Those surveyed listed public safety and government corruption as
Previous Peruvian presidents have governed with single-digit
Presidents in Peru, who cannot serve two consecutive terms,
traditionally make cabinet changes in July and December.
(Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Lisa