December 1, 2016 / 7:57 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Petroperu boss resigns after dispute with government

(Adds comments from outgoing Petroperu president, context)

LIMA, Dec 1 (Reuters) - The president of Peru state-owned energy company Petroperu and its board members have resigned following a dispute with the government over a proposed appointment within the company, the prime minister announced on Thursday.

Augusto Baertl, who was appointed president of the company just three months ago, is being replaced by Luis Garcia Rosell, a manager at Petroperu, Prime Minister Fernando Zavala told local broadcaster RPP.

Baertl said the Petroperu board was protesting the government’s opposition to its recent decision to hire Vladimiro Huaroc as the head of a new office in Petroperu tasked with handling social conflicts.

“A state company like Petroperu must be managed with independence,” Baertl said on RPP, speaking from the coastal city of Paracas where he and Zavala were attending a business summit.

Huaroc had been the running mate of right-wing populist Keiko Fujimori in this year’s presidential election before the country’s electoral board barred him from the race for distributing gifts while campaigning. Huaroc previously led efforts to prevent conflicts under ex-President Ollanta Humala.

Zavala did not comment on why the government rejected Huaroc’s appointment. Earlier this week Vice President Mercedes Araoz said Huaroc lacked a clear commitment to ethics following his violation of electoral rules.

President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski had appointed Baertl as head of Petroperu in August as the company reeled from the fallout of repeated ruptures in its 40-year-old pipeline in the Amazon. Baertl told Reuters in October that he expected the pipeline, shuttered since February, to resume operations in early 2017.

Reporting by Mitra Taj; Editing by Leslie Adler

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