Peru’s parliament votes to impeach President Castillo

Pedro Castillo

The Peruvian president wants to dissolve parliament and set up an emergency government.

(Photo: AP)

Lima Parliamentarians voted to remove the head of state. 101 members of Congress voted in favor of the motion of no confidence, 6 against and 10 abstained. In this case, the constitution provides for Vice President Dina Boluarte to take over the duties. Since taking office a year and a half ago, Castillo has survived two impeachment trials.

Shortly before the vote, Castillo announced the dissolution of Congress and a new parliamentary election. He will temporarily dissolve parliament and set up an emergency government, the head of state said in a speech on Wednesday.

He also announced a new election for Congress. The parliamentarians are then supposed to draft a new constitution within nine months. “Until the new Congress begins its work, we will govern by decree,” announced Castillo.

The President imposed a nationwide curfew between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. and announced reform of the judiciary. “Congress has destroyed the rule of law, democracy and the balance between state powers,” Castillo said. “We call on all civil society institutions and all social groups to support the decision.” Deputy Minister Boluarte and the opposition condemned the dissolution of the congress as a coup d’état.

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Numerous ministers resigned after Castillo’s announcement. “Because the rule of law has been violated and in accordance with my democratic principles, I hereby submit my irrevocable resignation as Minister of Economy and Finance,” wrote Finance Minister Kurt Burneo on Twitter. Foreign Minister César Landa and Justice Minister Felix Chero also made their positions available. Attorney General Patricia Benavides said: “We strongly reject the breach of the constitutional order.”

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The government of left-wing politician Castillo found itself in a permanent power struggle with parliament. Most recently, Congress refused the head of state permission to travel to the Pacific Alliance summit in Mexico, thereby canceling the meeting. Two of Castillo’s predecessors had been removed from office in similar proceedings.

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