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Peru in turmoil

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Peru is sinking into instability. The country’s parliament, dominated by the opposition, voted this Wednesday, December 7, the dismissal of left-wing president Pedro Castillo, ignoring the announcement of his dissolution and the establishment of a state of emergency.

Pedro Castillo, in power since July 2021, is the subject of six investigations for alleged corruption, of which his family and his political entourage are also accused.

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Dina Boluarte must replace him

His dismissal for “moral incapacity”, broadcast live on television, was approved by 101 of the 130 parliamentarians, including 80 in the opposition. The debate on this motion, initially scheduled for 3 p.m. (8 p.m. GMT), was brought forward after President Castillo’s announcements.

Its vice-president, elected alongside him in 2021 and from the same Marxist-inspired party (Free Peru), Dina Boluarte, must be invested at 8 p.m. GMT. She denounced ” a coup “ Of the president.

In a message to the nation delivered from the presidential palace and also broadcast on television, Pedro Castillo said “temporarily dissolve the Congress of the Republic and establish an exceptional emergency government”aiming to “restore the rule of law and democracy”.

He also assured that he wanted “convene as soon as possible a new Congress with constituent powers to draft a new Constitution within a period not exceeding nine months”.

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National curfew

Until the establishment of a new Parliament, “the government will act by decree-laws”he continued, also announcing a “national curfew from today” between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.

“The judicial system, the judiciary, the public ministry, the national council of justice, the constitutional court are declared in reorganization”he also announced, asking “to all persons in possession of illegal weapons” of the “hand over to the national police within 72 hours”.

national police “will devote all its efforts to the real and effective fight against crime, corruption and drug trafficking, for which it will be provided with the necessary resources”he added, calling on civil society institutions “to support these decisions that will allow us to put our country on the path to development”.

“Self-coup”

Vice President Dina Boluarte denounced on Twitter “a coup that aggravates the political and institutional crisis that Peruvian society will have to overcome by strictly respecting the law”.

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“It’s a coup doomed to failure, Peru wants to live in democracy”also reacted Francisco Morales, president of the Constitutional Court, to RPP radio. “No one owes obedience to a usurping government”he added.

President Castillo “has violated Article 117 of the Peruvian Constitution and is illegal. It’s a self-coup”also noted to AFP Augusto Alvarez, an independent political analyst.

“The United States strongly urges President Castillo to reverse his attempt to dissolve Congress and allow democratic institutions to function in accordance with the constitution”wrote on Twitter the American ambassador in Lima, Lisa Kenna.

Peru’s Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS), Harold Forsyth Mejia, announced his resignation during a meeting of the OAS Permanent Council in Washington. He denounced “a breakdown, to say the least technical, of the constitutional order, which is naturally a very serious affront to the constitutional process in Peru, to democracy in Peru and to democracy in all the countries that are part of this organization”.

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Two similar motions

Pedro Castillo had previously escaped two similar motions, the last of which was in March 2022.

At the time, the opposition accused him of having intervened in a case of alleged corruption operated by his entourage and of having committed a ” treason “ by declaring itself open to a referendum on an outlet to the Pacific Ocean for neighboring Bolivia, deprived of access to the sea. It also criticized him for the repeated ministerial crises and the formation of four governments in eight months, an unprecedented event in the Peru.

It was then the sixth impeachment motion of the Peruvian Parliament for “moral incapacity” against a president in office since 2017, after Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (right) in 2018 and Martin Vizcarra (center) in 2020.

The eviction of Martin Vizcarra had triggered violently repressed demonstrations which left two dead and a hundred injured. His departure had led Peru to have three presidents in five days.

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