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Peru’s president dissolves Congress, but legislators vote to replace him : NPR

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Peruvian President Pedro Castillo offers a information convention on the presidential palace in Lima on Oct. 11.

Martin Mejia/AP

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Martin Mejia/AP

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo offers a information convention on the presidential palace in Lima on Oct. 11.

Martin Mejia/AP

LIMA, Peru — Peruvian President Pedro Castillo dissolved the nation’s Congress on Wednesday and referred to as for brand new legislative elections, but the Congress rejected the decree and voted to replace him with the vice president.

Castillo had tried to beat lawmakers to the punch as they ready to debate a 3rd try to take away him from workplace. The nationwide ombudsman’s workplace referred to as it a coup.

Castillo additionally put in a brand new emergency authorities, and referred to as for the subsequent spherical of lawmakers to develop a brand new structure for the Andean nation. Meanwhile, Castillo mentioned in a televised handle that he would rule by decree, and ordered a nightly curfew beginning Wednesday night time.

Castillo additionally introduced that he’ll make modifications within the management of the judiciary, police and constitutional courtroom. The head of Peru’s military and 4 ministers, together with these over overseas affairs and the financial system, resigned.

Castillo took motion hours earlier than Castillo’s opponents in Congress moved towards a 3rd vote to take away him from workplace, claiming he is proven a “everlasting ethical incapacity” to lead the Andean nation. It wasn’t clear if that they had the 87 votes amongst 130 lawmakers vital to take away him.

The Ombudsman’s Office, an autonomous authorities establishment, mentioned in a press release that after years of democracy, Peru is within the midst of a constitutional collapse “that may’t be referred to as something but a coup.”

The workplace referred to as for Castillo to resign and switch himself in to judicial authorities.

“Mr. Castillo should keep in mind that he was not solely elected president of the republic, but additionally that the folks elected representatives for public service,” the assertion mentioned. “Castillo’s actions ignore the desire of the folks and are invalid.”

It referred to as for Vice President Dina Boluarte to assume the presidency. Boluarte by way of Twitter rejected Castillo’s actions as a result of “it worsens the political and institutional disaster that Peruvian society may have to overcome with strict adherence to the legislation.

Peru’s Joint Chiefs and National Police rejected the constitutionality of Castillo’s dissolution of the Congress in a press release.

Castillo mentioned in an uncommon midnight handle on state tv forward of the vote that he would by no means stain “the nice identify of my sincere and exemplary dad and mom, who like tens of millions of Peruvians, work daily to construct actually a future for his or her households.”

The peasant-turned-president mentioned he is paying for errors made due to inexperience. But he mentioned a sure sector of Congress “has as its solely agenda merchandise eradicating me from workplace as a result of they by no means accepted the outcomes of an election that you just, my pricey Peruvians, decided along with your votes.”

Castillo, whose authorities started in July 2021, denied allegations of corruption in opposition to him, saying they’re primarily based on “rumour statements by individuals who, searching for to lighten their very own punishments for supposed crimes by abusing my confidence, are attempting to contain me with out proof.”

Federal prosecutors are investigating six circumstances in opposition to Castillo, most of them for alleged corruption, underneath the speculation that he has used his energy to revenue from public works.

The energy wrestle in Perú’s capital has continued because the Andes and its 1000’s of small farms wrestle to survive the worst drought in a half-century. Without rain, farmers cannot plant potatoes, and the dying grass can not maintain herds of sheep, alpacas, vicuñas and llamas. Making issues worse, avian flu has killed no less than 18,000 sea birds and contaminated no less than one poultry producer, endangering the hen and turkeys raised for conventional vacation meals.

The authorities additionally confirmed that previously week, the nation has suffered a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections. Since the start of the pandemic, 4.3 million Peruvians have been contaminated, and 217,000 of them have died.

Castillo has thrice the recognition of Congress, in accordance to opinion polls. A survey by the Institute of Peruvian Studies final month discovered 86% disapproval of Congress, and solely 10% approval. whereas Castillo’s detrimental rankings have been 61% and 31% approve of his efficiency.

There’s a marked distinction within the South American nation: While in Lima a majority disapproves of Castillo and needs him out, Peruvians in different cities and rural communities throughout the inside need him to full his presidential time period, and his guarantees. Many Peruvians need Congress closed as an alternative.

But with few positive votes in Congress, Castillo hasn’t been ready to hold his guarantees together with combating in opposition to corruption, elevating taxes on mining, rewriting the structure and going after supposed monopolies which have raised costs on pure fuel and medicines.

The first president to come from a poor farming group within the nation’s 200 12 months historical past, Castillo arrived within the presidential palace final 12 months with none political expertise. He’s modified his cupboard 5 instances throughout his 12 months and a half in workplace, working by way of 60 totally different cupboard officers, leaving varied authorities businesses paralyzed.

Although Castillo is the primary president to be investigated whereas nonetheless in workplace, the probes aren’t any shock in a rustic the place almost each former president within the final 40 years have been charged with corruption linked to multinational firms, such because the Brazilian building agency Odebrecht.

Since 2016, Perú has been entrenched in political crises, with congresses and presidents making an attempt to eradicate one another in flip. President Martín Vizcarra (2018-2020) dissolved Congress in 2019 and ordered new elections. That new legislature eliminated Vizcarra the subsequent 12 months. Then got here President Manuel Merino, who lasted lower than every week earlier than a crackdown killed two protesters and injured 200 extra. His successor, Francisco Sagasti, lasted 9 months earlier than Castillo took over.

Md Rashidul Hasan

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Md Rashidul Hasan

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