Minister sparks first scandal for new Peru president

Lima (AFP) –


Peru's President Martin Vizcarra, in office for only a month, suffered his first setback as leader Wednesday when one of his ministers was forced out in a scandal.

Production Minister Daniel Cordova resigned after a Sunday television program aired a video in which, during a conversation with union officials, he offers to sack his deputy minister to prevent a strike.

"I had a conversation (with Cordova) and obviously he understood, he has made his position available, and his resignation has been accepted," Prime Minister Cesar Villanueva told state broadcaster TV Peru.

The videotaped conversation between Cordova and the leaders of the Federation of Artisanal Fishermen took place April 4, two days after he took office.

"I put my position at the disposal of President Vizcarra so the political issue won't interfere with the need to solve the problem of artisanal fishing," Cordova wrote on Twitter.

Vizcarra, who was ambassador to Canada as well as vice-president, took office on March 23 after his predecessor Pedro Pablo Kuczynski stepped down amid corruption allegations, shortly before he was to face impeachment.