Turbulent change of power at the top of Peru

Wednesday began with a televised speech by the President a few hours before a planned parliamentary debate on his impeachment.

Turbulent change of power at the top of Peru

Wednesday began with a televised speech by the President a few hours before a planned parliamentary debate on his impeachment. In it, the left-wing head of state announced that he would dissolve the congress, which was dominated by the conservative opposition, and convene an "extraordinary emergency government" and initially govern by decree.

After the televised address, several ministers and other government officials resigned in protest at the dissolution of parliament. Castillo's deputy Boluarte spoke of a "coup d'état". Amid criticism from all sides, MPs gathered ahead of schedule to debate the impeachment motion. 101 of the 130 MPs finally voted to remove Castillo from power because of "moral incompetence".

According to information from judicial circles, investigations were initiated against the 53-year-old on charges of incitement. "He has been arrested," said prosecutor Marita Barreto, who is responsible for investigating government corruption.

A little later, Boluarte, who was elected to office with Castillo in July 2021 and comes from the same party, was sworn in as his successor. She is scheduled to rule until the end of Castillo's term in July 2026. In her first speech as President, she called for "national unity". She called on MEPs to settle their ideological differences in view of the tensions between Castillo's left-wing government and the conservative-dominated parliament.

The 60-year-old lawyer now has to quickly put together her cabinet. It could already become apparent whether she will receive sufficient support for her government. If this is not the case, the calls for her resignation or early elections are likely to get louder.

According to ex-President Ollanta Humala, without support in parliament, Boluarte is in a difficult position. "She has no party in Congress, she is alone," he said on television on Wednesday evening. "You should call early elections."

However, the influential right-wing populist Keiko Fujimori announced that her party would support the new head of state. "Let's hope the President appoints a diverse cabinet," she said on Twitter.

Castillo was elected head of state in July 2021 as a political outsider. Since then, the 53-year-old has been in a constant power struggle with the conservative-dominated Congress. He had already tried twice in vain to remove him from office because of "moral incompetence".

At the end of November, Castillo appointed the fifth prime minister in 16 months. There are now several preliminary investigations and a constitutional complaint against the former teacher and his family on allegations of corruption, involvement in organized crime and obstruction of justice. Castillo always rejected all allegations against him.

The turbulent events in Peru were closely followed internationally. US State Department spokesman Ned Price said he assumes Castillo is now "former president". The parliament in Peru acted according to democratic guidelines.

UN Secretary-General António Guterres appealed to all those involved to "uphold the rule of law, remain calm and not escalate tensions any further." The EU also called on all sides "to engage in a dialogue that guarantees stability".

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