Peru’s president dissolved Congress to push through anti-corruption reforms

Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra dissolved congress Monday, exercising seldom used executive powers to shut down the opposition-controlled legislature that he accuses of stonewalling attempts to curb widespread corruption.

In a televised address, Vizcarra told the South American nation that he had decided to call new legislative elections after lawmakers proceeded with holding a controversial vote to replace almost all the members of the Constitutional Tribunal.

“We are making history that will be remembered by future generations,” he said. “And when they do, I hope they understand the magnitude of this fight that we are in today against an endemic evil that has caused much harm to our country.”

The stunning turn could spell new instability as Peru grapples with the fallout of the Odebrecht corruption scandal, plummeting faith in public institutions and an inexperienced president struggling to govern.

Meanwhile dissolved congress dismissed country’s leaders from the post. Thus, the parliament did not agree with the decision of the head of state on dissolution.

“The plenary session approved a resolution that talks about the temporary incapacity of the president of the republic who violated the constitution,” the congress said.

The oath was taken by the vice president of Peru, Mercedes Araos. Now Congress believes that he is the leader of the country until early elections.

In mid-July, the former president of Peru, Alejandro Toledo, was arrested in the United States at the request of the Attorney General of the South American country. Peruvian authorities accuse the former head of corruption and money laundering.

The United States did not specify under what circumstances Toledo was detained. In March 2019, he was taken to the police station for drunkenness, but then released. The Peruvian authorities requested that Toledo be extradited in 2017, but Washington refused to do so.

He is suspected of receiving bribes of $ 20 million from the Brazilian developer Odebrecht. The ex-leader helped the organization get a number of profitable contracts.

Then another former president of Peru, Pablo Kuczynski, was accused of corruption with the same company. He allegedly received 4.8 million dollars from this construction organization through shell companies. It is corruption in the highest echelons of power that is the cause of the political crisis in Peru.