LIMA Aug 26 Peru's Congress narrowly ratified
President Ollanta Humala's embattled cabinet on Tuesday after
the ruling party offered to suspend a rule requiring independent
workers to pay into a pension program.
Humala secured scarcely enough support for his sixth cabinet
in three years with 55 votes. Fifty-four lawmakers voted against
his cabinet and nine abstained.
The vote was the third after a majority of lawmakers balked
at the cabinet's ratification last week, part of a bid to
pressure Humala on a raft of demands ranging from ministerial
changes to the repeal of the pension law.
Passed in 2012 when Humala wielded more power in Congress,
the pension law mandates independent workers to pay into a
private pension fund or the state pension program.
Peru's private pension system is the most important source
of investment capital in the country, managing some $39 billion.
After the law was passed, Habitat , a unit
of Chile's Inversiones La Construccion, won the right
to sign up all new contributors to the private system by
offering the lowest fees.
The president of Humala's nationalist party, First Lady
Nadine Heredia, said on Twitter that the party and its allies in
Congress would back suspension of the independent worker rule in
the pension law.
It is unclear how long the requirement would be on hold, or
what impact it would have on Habitat.
Habitat declined to comment on the law's suspension until a
formal decision by the government is taken.
Humala's previous cabinet also faced three votes before
securing congressional approval in March. That marked the first
time in more than a decade that the constitutional ratification
requirement was not just a routine formality.
The latest political crisis emerged after Humala's power in
Congress waned further. In late July six lawmakers left his
party's political bloc in Congress, leaving it with a one-vote
edge over the main opposition party.
(Reporting by Dante Alva; Editing by Dan Grebler)