Peruvian Congress rejects impeachment against Pedro Castillo

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The Peruvian Congress rejected, on Tuesday (7), the impeachment request against President Pedro Castillo, of the Peru Libre party. The vote had 46 legislators in favor and 76 against, with four abstentions. 52 votes were needed for approval.

A group of 29 opposition congressmen filed a vacancy request against the current president on Nov. 26 for “permanent moral incapacity.”

The document cites the investigation by the local Public Ministry of an alleged illicit financing of the Peru Libre party during the general elections and an allegation of influence peddling in Armed Forces promotions. Castillo’s government is still accused of having public officials attending the house that served as an electoral committee, with one of the servers advising a company that won a public tender.

Then Defense Minister Walter Ayala, accused along with Castillo of inferring promotions, resigned on 15 November. The complaint was made by the former general commander of the Army, General José Vizcarra, who claimed to have learned of his retirement only through the Official Gazette.

José Vizcarra declared that he was retired after refusing to promote military personnel recommended by Ayala and the general secretary of the Presidency, Bruno Pacheco. For him, the names did not correspond to the positions suggested by the government.

Upon leaving his post, Ayala said that his handling of promotions was correct, and that he would assume “full political responsibility” in the case. He also thanked Castillo, and asked for the end of “politicization” in the country, so that it would be possible to govern.

According to Castillo, the opposition’s objective is to remove “the president without any support and with absolute irresponsibility for the consequences that these undemocratic acts have for the population.”

“Since the beginning of my government, a minority of political parties and economic groups have not accepted the electoral result, and have always sought to undermine the popular will. They never accepted that a peasant and a teacher would lead the nation and promote structural changes in the country”, claimed the president.

Peru and the political turmoil with impeachments

Elected in 2021, Pedro Castillo could be the third president to be impeached in just three years. Pedro Pablo Kuczynski and Martín Vizcarra, both from the PPK party, were removed in 2018 and 2020, respectively.

In November 2020, Peru had three different mandates in just one week: Vizcarra, leaving on November 10, Manuel Merino, president of the Congress, who stayed for just five days and resigned on November 15, and Francisco Sasgasti, elected by the Congress, which took office on November 16 and remained in power until July 2021, when Castillo began to hold office definitively.

(*With information from CNN and Reuters)

Reference: CNN Brasil

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