Lima, Peru:The President of Peru, Pedro Castillo, has been arrested and is being held in the police station located on Avenida España in the city of Lima. This is following a vote by the majority right-wing congress to oust him in a legislative coup. The Military and the Police have declared their support for the congress, according to kawsachunews.
Peru’s Congress has ousted President Pedro Castillo from office after he tried to temporarily shut down the government’s legislative branch and call for new elections.
Lawmakers moved ahead with their impeachment trial on Wednesday, ignoring Castillo’s decree to suspend the body, and voted overwhelmingly (101-6) to oust him.
The Peruvian Congress dismissed Pedro Castillo for “moral incapacity,” with 101 votes in favor out of a total of 130 congressmen, 6 votes against and 11 abstentions. The President’s decision to dissolve Congress and reorganize the judicial system was thus ignored.
Peru’s armed forces and national police issued a joint statement rejecting his attempt to replace the opposition-controlled Congress with an “exceptional emergency government.”
Castillo is being held at the Lima prefecture. The Attorney General, Patricia Benavides, and Marita Barreto, prosecutor in charge of the Special Team of Prosecutors against Corruption of Powers, which is investigating Castillo for alleged corruption crimes, arrived at the place.
On Wednesday afternoon, the plenary removed Castillo from office by applying article 113 of the Constitution, which establishes that the president can be removed from office for “permanent moral incapacity” to exercise it.
He also announced to summon “in the shortest term elections for a new Congress with constituent faculties to elaborate a new Constitution in a term no longer than nine months from this date.”
The temporary dissolution of Congress and the establishment of a national emergency government were ordered by Castillo hours before the third vote of no confidence motion against him since taking office 16 months ago.
The former President also decreed a curfew throughout the country starting this Wednesday at 22.00 local time (03.00 GMT on Thursday).
Dina Boluarte, First Vice President takes office in Peru After Castillo’s Dismissal
The new president took the oath of office in the Legislative seat and in the presence of the parliamentarians and then addressed a brief speech to the country, broadcasted by national media.
“I request a political truce to install a government of national unity; this responsibility must be assumed by all. I request a deadline to rescue our country from corruption. My first measure will be to confront corruption in all its treacherous dimensions”, said the president as reported by TeleSur.
This Wednesday, Castillo was to face an impeachment request to be voted in Congress and promoted by a group of opposition parliamentarians on the grounds of permanent moral incapacity.
In a nationally televised message in the morning, the former head of state announced the dissolution of the Congress and the establishment of a “government of exception.”
Castillo took the measure of force without the support of any State institution, including the Armed Forces.
According to the law, the person in charge of succeeding the ousted president was Vice President Boluarte, who rejected the actions taken by the former president.
Castillo is currently detained in a police station in Lima; it is still unknown what measures will be taken by the judicial authorities regarding his attempt to close the parliament.
Lawmakers had previously tried twice to impeach him since he took office in July 2021.