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article imagePeru sacks PM over alleged domestic spying

By AFP     Mar 31, 2015 in World

Peru's Congress has sacked the prime minister, Ana Jara, over alleged spying against lawmakers, reporters, business leaders and other citizens.

Supreme executive power in Peru is held by the president, in this case Ollanta Humala. It is the biggest crisis in his four years in power.

This is the first time the congress of Peru has deposed a prime minister since 1968. With a year left of his term, Humala must now name a prime minister for the seventh time.

The censure vote against Jara was 72 to 42, with two abstentions.

On March 19, the magazine Correo Semanal published a list of Peruvians who had allegedly been investigated by the National Intelligence Directorate, or DINI.

These people included politicians and their families, journalists, business people and thousands of everyday citizens.

After the news broke, Jara, who in July completed her first year in the post, was summoned to Congress.

She said she had asked for an investigation and said the data search against the investigated people went back at least two previous governments.

The practice went back to 2005 "and nothing was done. Now, someone who wants to do something (investigate), is censured," said ruling party lawmaker Victor Isla.

In early February the government ordered the intelligence service called the DINI to close temporarily. It is accused of spying on both government officials and opposition figures.

"Although she did not give instructions for this to happen, it is clear that in politics someone has to take responsibility," opposition lawmaker Javier Bedoya said during debate prior to the vote that ousted the prime minister.

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