In Midst Of Pandemic Crisis, Peru’s Legislature Impeaches The Nation’s President
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Peru’s President Martín Vizcarra speaks in front of the presidential palace after lawmakers voted to remove him from office in Lima, Peru, Monday. Peruvian lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to impeach Vizcarra, expressing anger over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and citing unproven corruption allegations.
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Supporters of President Martín Vizcarra protest the Peruvian Congress decision to oust him.
During the debate, lawmakers blamed Vizcarra for severe shortages of therapeutic oxygen and the government’s strategy of identifying infections through the use of antibody tests, which do not detect the disease in its early stages.
Vizcarra is accused of taking bribes earlier this decade from construction companies seeking government contracts. His defenders point out that the allegations come from construction managers who are themselves accused of crimes and may be offering information in exchange for reduced sentences, according to the AP.
Querido Pueblo Peruano:
Durante estos dos años y ocho meses de gobierno ustedes han sido mi mayor soporte y fortaleza. Juntos construimos este camino, a pesar de la adversidad. Me voy con la conciencia tranquila, la frente en alto y el deber cumplido. Hasta otra oportunidad.
— Martín Vizcarra (@MartinVizcarraC) November 10, 2020
In a tweet following his impeachment addressed to the «Peruvian People,» Vizcarra wrote, «I leave with a clear conscience, my head held high and my duty accomplished.»
Vizcarra, 57, is far more popular in Peru than the legislature, according to the AP. Elected in 2016 as first vice president, Vizcarra became president in 2018 after the resignation of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski following allegations of corruption. Vizcarra governed on an anti-corruption platform.
Following the vote, thousands of supporters gathered on the streets of the capital, Lima, some shouting, «Get out the coup plotters!» referring to lawmakers, according to the AP.
Because the posts of first and second vice president remain vacant, the presiding member of Congress, Manuel Merino, will be sworn in Tuesday as interim president.
- president martin vizcarra