Peru’s president has dissolved parliament to make impeachment proceedings against him impossible. The right-wing opposition had been planning to discuss the removal of socialist Pedro Castillo, who was elected president last year, for the third time in a short time.
He then defeated conservative candidate Keiko Fujimori by tens of thousands of votes. The former primary school teacher and union leader chanted, “No more poverty in a rich country.” Meanwhile, Castillo’s popularity declined sharply, due in part to sharp rises in fuel and food prices and allegations of corruption.
He has already survived two impeachment proceedings, the latest in March. Opposition parties wanted to sack him for “moral incompetence”, but the motion to do so failed to win a majority. Two of Castillo’s predecessors were removed from office in similar actions.
Curfew and elections
In a televised address, Castillo also announced the formation of an emergency government. He also declared a curfew and called for new parliamentary elections. He also said that “a part of Parliament wants to exclude me because they never accepted the results of the elections.”
Several prominent ministers have resigned from the government in protest, and the US ambassador to the country has also rejected the “unconstitutional” measures taken by the president. Opposition members speak of a flagrant violation of the constitution and of a “self-coup”.
A few hours after Castillo’s televised speech, an angry parliament approved his impeachment. It is not clear what will happen now. Peru has been mired in a political crisis since 2016, with successive presidents and parliaments fighting fiercely with each other.
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