Peru President Vizcarra swears in actor as new prime minister

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LIMA (Reuters) - Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra swore in actor and former Culture Minister Salvador del Solar as his new prime minister on Monday in a cabinet shuffle that may help shore up his slipping approval ratings.

Vizcarra opted to keep Finance Minister Carlos Oliva and Energy and Mines Minister Francisco Ismodes in their posts, but changed eight other ministers, including the production and agriculture ministers.

No major policy changes were expected under del Solar, who has degrees in law and international relations but is best known for his starring roles in Spanish-language films.

Del Solar, 48, served as culture minister for about a year under former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who resigned in a graft scandal a year ago.

Vizcarra, Kuczynski’s former vice president, took office to replace Kuczynski and won broad support for pushing measures aimed at fighting corruption and taking a tougher stance with the opposition-controlled Congress.

But Vizcarra’s approval rating fell seven percentage points to 56 percent this month, according to a Datum Internacional poll last week, after reaching a high of 66 percent in January.

Presidents in Peru often reshuffle their cabinets when their approval ratings fall, though all recent presidents have ended their terms widely unpopular.

Despite occasional bouts of political turmoil, Peru has been one of Latin America’s most stable and fastest-growing economies this century.

Reporting by Marco Aquino and Mitra Taj; Editing by Steve Orlofsksy and Tom Brown