Peru President Castillo impeached after he attempts to dissolve Congress


Peru was thrown into political turmoil on Wednesday after the country’s congress voted to impeach President Pedro Castillo, just hours after he tried to dissolve the legislature and install an emergency government.

The day began with Castillo’s televised speech from the Presidential Palace, where he announced plans to call early parliamentary elections to draft a new constitution that led to cabinet resignations and widespread criticism.

The president, who has survived two impeachment attempts, also announced a national curfew starting at 10 p.m. Wednesday. local (5 p.m. ET) to 4 a.m.

But Congress appeared defiant, opening its session Wednesday with lawmakers singing the national anthem. A majority of 101 lawmakers in the 130-person congress later voted to impeach Castillo.

According to the country’s constitution, the second in line would be Vice President Dina Boluarte.

Before the vote, the president of Peru’s Constitutional Court, Francisco Morales, called Castillo’s action a “coup” in a televised press conference and called on Boluarte to take over as president.

Boluarte also criticized Castillo before the vote. “I do not support Pedro Castillo’s decision to destroy the constitutional order by closing Congress,” Boluarte wrote on Twitter. “This is a coup that reinforces the political and institutional crisis that Peruvian society will have to overcome with strict adherence to the law.”

At least seven cabinet ministers resigned, including Environment Minister Wilbert Roz, Finance Minister Kurt Burneo, Foreign Relations Minister Cesar Landa and Justice Minister Felix Chero.

Lawmakers are running for Congress in 2022.  Wednesday, December 7, the day of the planned impeachment of President Pedro Castillo in Lima, Peru.  (AP Photo/Guadalupe Pardo)

The leftist leader’s government has been mired in chaos since his inauguration, with dozens of ministers appointed, replaced, sacked or resigned in just over a year, adding to the pressure on the embattled president.

Castillo, a former school teacher and union leader, has lashed out at the opposition for trying to oust him since his first day in office, accusing Peru’s Attorney General Patricia Benavides of staging what he called a new form of “coup”. ” against him.

In October, Benavides filed a constitutional complaint against him based on three of the six investigations her office opened. The complaint allows Congress to conduct its own investigation against the president.

A motion filed by the opposition last week called for the president to be impeached for being “morally unfit” under Article 113 of Peru’s Constitution.

in 2021 July. elected by a narrow margin in the second round, Castillo has faced numerous investigations into whether he used his position to benefit himself, his family and his closest allies, using influence to gain favor or preference, among other claims.

Castillo has repeatedly denied all allegations and reiterated his willingness to cooperate with any investigation. He claims the charges are the result of a witch hunt against him and his family by factions that failed to accept his election victory.

The president faces five preliminary criminal investigations on suspicion of inciting corruption schemes while in office. These include accusations by prosecutors that he led a “criminal network” that prevented public institutions such as the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Ministry of Housing and Peru’s state oil company from controlling public procurement processes and benefiting specific companies and close allies.

Prosecutors are also investigating whether the president led efforts to spread influence in the promotion process for both the armed forces and the national police.

These investigations include not only the president himself, but also Castillo’s family, including his wife and sister-in-law. First Lady Lilia Paredes is under investigation for allegedly coordinating a criminal network. Her lawyer, Benji Espinoza, has emphasized her innocence and says the investigation against the first lady includes “many flaws and omissions.”

And her sister-in-law, Yenifer Paredes, is being investigated for alleged involvement in a criminal organization, money laundering and a more aggravated deal. She was held until a judge revoked her “preventive detention” for 30 months. She also denied wrongdoing.

“My daughter, my wife, my whole family have been attacked with the sole purpose of destroying me because they don’t want me to finish my term, I promise I will finish my term, I’m not corrupt,” he said. during a televised speech from the Presidency on October 20.

In the same speech, Castillo acknowledged that some of his closest allies should face justice on corruption charges, saying: “If they betrayed my trust, let justice take care of them.”

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.


Also Read :  New NSF program seeks to engage minority serving institutions in artificial intelligence research

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button