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LATIN AMERICA | 08-12-2021 08:55

Peruvian Congress rejects attempt to impeach President Castillo

Peruvian lawmakers reject a motion to start impeachment proceedings against Pedro Castillo, just five months into his presidency.

Peruvian lawmakers rejected a motion to start impeachment proceedings against Pedro Castillo  after the president secured last-minute pledges of support from leftist and centrist parties in Congress.

The motion was rejected with 76 votes of 130. Forty-six members of congress backed the proposal while four abstained. 

Less than five months into his presidency, the conservative opposition tried to oust Castillo for so-called "moral incapacity," which allows a leader to be ejected from office on a variety of pretexts. 

But following meetings with party leaders at the presidential palace the night before the vote, Castillo was able to count on an alliance of lawmakers from leftist and centrist parties to block the proposal. 

Castillo’s own socialist Peru Libre party, from which he had recently become estranged, in the end backed him, as did several smaller parties.

Peru’s laws make it relatively easy to remove a head of state. Former president Martín Vizcarra was impeached in 2020, and nearly every president elected since 1985 has been impeached, imprisoned or sought in criminal investigations.

by María Cervantes, Bloomberg

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