Caracas, Venezuela – Peruvian President Martin Viscera was on Monday accused by Congress of plunging the country into a constitutional crisis amid a devastating corona virus outbreak just months before the presidential election.
Of Peru’s 130 legislators, 105 voted in favor of the opposition’s decision to remove the president on corruption charges, more than the required 87 votes. There is a unity system in Peru, and the vote on Monday marks the final decision of Congress.
Under Peru’s constitution, the person to replace Mr Viscera as interim president is Manuel Merino, Congress leader, opposition legislator and businessman, until his term ends next July.
The indictment, which shocked a nation that expected the president to survive, was the culmination of a growing bitterness between Mr Viscera, a centrist and his opponents in Congress, who oppose his attempts to bring about political and change in the country. Justice system.
Monday’s referendum is the second attempt by lawmakers to impeach Mr Viskara in two months, following his vote on an unrelated charge of obstruction of justice in September.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. His government has portrayed the indictment as an unsubstantiated abuse of a rarely used constitutional clause, which would allow lawmakers to oust a president who is mentally or morally ineligible for office, but not punish a president for a mistake.
“The worst thing we can do now is to plunge the country back into more insurgency and instability,” Mr Viscera said in his defense speech on Monday.
Normally there would be a first vice president and a second vice president behind the president, but both positions are vacant,
Despite the growing number of false accusations, only 20 percent of Peruvians support Mr Viscora’s accusation, and according to an Ipsos poll in late October, he has the backing of the country’s armed forces, the mediator of Peru’s traditional power.
Minutes after the vote, Mr. Civil society leaders criticized the timing of the vote during a deep health crisis, according to local broadcasters who condemned what Viskara’s groups called a “conspiracy” to gather outside Congress. Heavy police arches surrounded the assembly building in preparation for the unrest.
“This is not a rebirth,” Archbishop Carlos Castillo of Lima said of the referendum. “Here, there is only anger, jealousy and aggression.”
The new attempt to oust Mr Viscara comes weeks after local media reported leaked testimonies by one of his close associates and construction executives, accusing him of taking bribes from local construction companies as governor of a small mining region in the early 2010s. .
Mr. Viscarra was charged with accepting about $ 2.3 million, or about $ 641,000, and faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted, an official at the prosecutor’s office said.
The president has denied the allegations and accused lawmakers of using his allegations to postpone the April election. He has promised to co-operate with prosecutors and face trial when his term ends in July, and has accused the opposition of trying to destabilize the country in times of crisis.