Peruvian Congress ousted president on corruption charges

The Congress of the Republic of Peru has ousted president Martin Vizcarra on November 9 in an impeachment vote on corruption charges and his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Deutsche Welle reports.

The impeachment of the president was supported by 105 legislators – more than 87 votes needed to remove the president of Peru.

– Because of his negligence and incapacity, we’ve lost thousands of compatriots, – lawmaker Robinson Gupioc said during the debate over Vizcarra’s impeachment.

The head of the Peruvian Congress, Manuel Merino, is expected to assume the presidency and will remain in office until the end of July 2021, when his predecessor’s term was due to expire.

Merino addressed the Peruvians, stating that the presidential elections in April would go as planned. The politician also appealed to the population to stay calm after vote.

Vizcarra is accused of receiving more than $ 630,000 in bribes in exchange for permission for construction projects when he was governor of the southern Moquegua region in 2011-2014.

Viscarra denied the corruption charges. Moreover, his supporters consider these allegations «baseless» and «false».

The president said before the vote that any impeachment could plunge Peru into chaos as the country is facing an economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Several lawmakers, supporters of Vizcarra, have spoken out against the impeachment, calling it a «coup in disguise».

It is reported that the removal of 57-year-old president could usher in a period of political tensions until a new president. In addition, the situation is exacerbated by economic instability and the impact of the pandemic.

Earlier, an impeachment vote was already held on September 18 in Peru. But the required number of votes fell short when only 32 legislators voted to remove Vizcarra.

Vizcarra became president in March 2018 after his predecessor in office, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, resigned amid allegations of vote buying.