The president faced a motion for his resignation over alleged corruption and minutes before the session decided to carry out what the opposition already defines as a “coup d’état”.
The third time was the charm. Peru’s President Pedro Castillo has chosen to dissolve Congress three hours before the House began debating his possible resignation for “permanent moral incompetence,” a constitutional figure that somehow warrants a more direct accusation of replaces corruption. The president has announced his intention to “establish an exceptional government aimed at restoring the rule of law and democracy”, a message that has caused great concern among opposition parties due to the memory of the 1992 ‘Fujimorazo’. Several lawmakers have described the decision as a “coup” and demand that Castillo “respect constitutional frameworks,” according to Together for Peru spokesperson Ruth Luque.
The president was facing his third vote of confidence despite only being in power for 16 months. He came out unscathed from the two previous ones, in December and March, but this time the scandals of corruption, bribery and favoritism towards his family and political circle are piling up. With a general disapproval of 70% of citizens, Castillo faced an impeachment that has already removed two other presidents from government. The vacancy motion, as it is called, requires the consensus of 87 parliamentarians to remove the head of government from office. The congress consists of 130 delegates, 80 conservatives and 50 members of Castillo’s party and associates. Although the opposition does not have a majority, the head of the Executive branch did not seem to have it all in terms of the direction of the vote of all his allies. In addition, an investigation by the prosecutor’s office into irregular recruitment weighs on him, which could mean his disqualification.
Given all this, the leader has decided to emulate his predecessor Alberto Fujimori, who staged a coup d’état in 1992 to politically survive the charges against him; among them, that of corruption. Shortly before announcing it, the general commander of the army, Walter Córdoba Alemán, tendered his resignation.
«The following measures are enacted: temporarily dissolve the Congress of the Republic and establish an exceptional emergency government; convene in the shortest possible time a new congress with constituent powers to draft a new constitution within a period of not more than nine months,” Castillo declared in a message to the nation from the seat of government. Visibly nervous, the head of the executive has imposed a curfew in anticipation of possible street disturbances and even ordered “all those who possess illegal weapons” to immediately report them to police stations under threat of jail time. “The reorganization of the judiciary, the judiciary, the prosecution service, the National Judicial Council and the Constitutional Court has been announced,” he added. The Attorney General, Patricia Benavides, has “strongly rejected any violation of constitutional order.”
Source: La Verdad