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In Peru Economy minister, Alfredo Thorne quits in scandal

Peru's economy minister became the latest casualty of a scandal over alleged influence-peddling in the major mineral-exporting country as he quit after losing a confidence vote.

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Peru's Finance Minister Alfredo Thorne, pictured in 2016, was heard in a leaked recording apparently pressuring a senior financial official to approve an airport construction contract in return for an increased budget allocation play

Peru's Finance Minister Alfredo Thorne, pictured in 2016, was heard in a leaked recording apparently pressuring a senior financial official to approve an airport construction contract in return for an increased budget allocation

(AFP/File)

Peru's economy minister became the latest casualty of a scandal over alleged influence-peddling in the major mineral-exporting country as he quit after losing a confidence vote.

Alfredo Thorne announced on Twitter on Wednesday that he was quitting his post after the vote in the opposition-controlled legislature.

He is the second member of center-right President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski's government to quit in the scandal, after transport minister Martin Vizcarra. Two other ministers left the government last year.

Thorne was heard in a leaked recording apparently pressuring a senior financial official to approve an airport construction contract in return for an increased budget allocation.

The government camp has denounced it as a set-up.

Peru's economy has outperformed most of its neighbors over recent years. But it is suffering from an international corruption scandal involving Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht, which has led major building projects to be canceled.

Kuczynski very narrowly won the vote in last year's election but his rival Keiko Fujimori's right-wing populist movement won a majority in congress, posing a challenge to his reform plans.

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