Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra threatened to dissolve Parliament because of the reluctance of legislators to adopt a package of anti-corruption reforms.
In a televised speech, President Martin Vizarra ordered the opposition-led Congress to hold a special session on 19 September to discuss a proposal for a package of anti-corruption initiatives. In the event that legislators block it with a vote of no confidence, the Vizarra will be empowered by the Peruvian Constitution to dissolve Congress, which he has already threatened, Aljazeera reports.
“Almost 40 days ago we presented [these initiatives] … with the expectation of working together and fighting this endemic evil [corruption], ” Vizcarra said. “However, during this period, the Congress has only developed a schedule, not understanding the urgency of change.”
According to Peru’s Constitution, if Congress rejects the two offices formed by a single administration, the President may “close” Congress and call a national legislative election.
The current Congress has already rejected one Cabinet formed under former President Pedro Pablo Kuchinsky, who Vizcarra replaced in March, taking office as President.
“We hope that history will not repeat itself in a year when this Congress refuses to renew its confidence in the Cabinet,” Whiskarra warned in his message, telling the Peruvians that he would promise to fight corruption at all costs.
“We will not be broken»
Earlier, the former head of Peru Pedro Pablo Kuchinsky warned that Congress is seeking to overthrow the President again. Opposition lawmakers denied the accusation, saying that the proposed reforms of Vizcarra are less relevant than other issues.
Vizcarra proposed a new system for the selection of judges and prosecutors, an end to the immediate re-election of legislators, a second chamber in Congress, and the criminalization of unrecorded campaign contributions.
In a recent survey, 79% of Peruvians were in favor of anti-corruption reforms.
“I now present a broad recognition for the reforms,” Vizcarra said. “We will not be defeated.”
The escalation of tensions between the Executive and legislative branches is beginning a new period of political uncertainty in Peru, one of the most stable countries in Latin America, which is the world’s second largest copper producer.