Peru gets new President after Pedro Castillo ousted amid accusations of coup attempt

The result was announced to loud cheers, and the legislature called on Vice President Dina Boluaarte to take office. He described Pedro Castillo’s move to dissolve Congress as an “attempted coup”.

reuters

lima,Updates: December 8, 2022 04:04 IST

Peru’s Vice President Dina Boluarte, who was called by Congress to take over as president after the legislature approved the ouster of President Pedro Castillo in an impeachment trial, attends her swearing-in ceremony in Lima (Photo: Reuters)

by Reuters,

Peru’s Congress on Wednesday swore in a new president in a day of wide-ranging political drama, with former leader Pedro Castillo being impeached after making a last-ditch effort to stay in power by trying to dissolve Congress. was thrown out at trial.

Ignoring Castillo’s attempt to close the legislature by decree, lawmakers went ahead with the previously planned impeachment trial, with 101 voting in favor of removing him, six against and 10 abstaining.

The result was announced to loud cheers, and the legislature called on Vice President Dina Boluaarte to take office.

Boluarte was sworn in as president until 2026, making her the first woman to lead Peru. He called for a political struggle to overcome the crisis and said that a new cabinet would be formed from all political stripes.

He described Castillo’s move to dissolve Congress as an “attempted coup”.

Peru’s President Pedro Castillo makes a statement to the media with Chile’s President Gabriel Boric at the La Moneda government palace on November 29, 2022 in Santiago, Chile.

Peru’s national police shared a photo on Twitter of Castillo sitting unruly at a police station after voting to remove him, saying it had “interfered” with the carrying out of his duties. It referred to Castillo as “the former president”. It was not clear whether he was taken into custody.

Castillo previously said he would temporarily close Congress, start a “government of exception” and call for new legislative elections.

This led to the resignation of key ministers of Castillo’s government and accusations of a “coup d’état” by opposition members and allies. The police and armed forces warned him that the route he had taken to dissolve the Congress was unconstitutional.

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third time unlucky

Peru has gone through years of political turmoil, with several leaders being accused of corruption, repeated impeachment attempts, and shortened presidential terms.

The latest legal battle began in October, when the prosecutor’s office filed a constitutional complaint against Castillo for allegedly leading “a criminal organization” to profit from state contracts and obstructing the investigation.

Congress summoned Castillo last week to answer charges of “moral incapacity” to govern.

Castillo called the allegations “slander” by groups that are “seeking to take advantage and seize the power that the people took from them in the election.”

The leftist teacher-turned-president had survived two previous attempts to impeach him since he began his term in July 2021.

But Wednesday’s attempt to dissolve the Congress after his allies deserted him, his ministers resigned and regional powers underscored the need for democratic stability.

US Ambassador to Peru Lisa Kenna wrote on Twitter, “The United States categorically rejects any extra-constitutional act by President Castillo to prevent Congress from fulfilling its mandate.”

The turmoil at the world’s No. 2 copper producer spooked markets, although analysts said the removal of Castillo, who has battled a hostile Congress since taking power, could be a positive for investors.

Peru’s sol currency fell 2% against the dollar to its session low before recovering slightly to trade down 1.4%.

“Peruvian financial markets will suffer but not collapse mainly due to solid domestic fundamentals,” said Andres Abadia at Pantheon Macroeconomics.

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