A devastating pandemic, the worst economic crisis in history, and now the fourth president in five years.
The Peruvians, exhausted from this year’s turmoil, woke up on Tuesday, shocked again. This time, it was one of their leaders’ decisions: the country’s deeply dissatisfied Congress voted on Monday night to impeach new Martin Vizcarra (Martín Vizcarra), a popular, even flawed president, Because of “moral incapacity”, it is only five months before the new election.
Thirteen hours later, on Tuesday morning, Congress was sworn in as the new president, Manuel Merino, a little-known rice farmer who served as the head of Congress.
“All of our Peruvians are disappointed with the people who manage our people,” said Andrés Cordero, an unemployed electrician. “They promised changes for a long time and they always end in the same way.”
The spread of disease across the country marked a significant change in Peru’s fortunes before the pandemic, when the country announced the highest economic growth rate in Latin America, lagging behind Mr. Vizcarra’s ambitious attempts to eliminate deep-rooted corruption.
Now, Mr. Vizcarra has been charged with the same crime. He vowed to deal with the same crime. After leaked witness testimony showed that he accepted bribes while serving as the governor of the province, he became the sixth president of Peru for the sixth consecutive time. To investigate corruption.
After the resignation of former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Mr. Vizcarra came to power. This is one of the corruption incidents in recent years. These scandals have made political figures , Businessmen, judges and prosecutors are in trouble. When Mr. Kuczynski’s vice-chairman, Mr. Viskara walked into the office.
Although polls showed that the vast majority of Peruvians wanted Vizcarra to face justice, he was quickly removed by Congress before the allegations were confirmed, angering the public.
On Tuesday, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of the capital Lima, condemning what they called a “coup” in Congress and accusing lawmakers of misrepresenting justice for personal gain in a severe national crisis. They clashed with riot police outside Congress, who used tear gas and rubber pills to disperse them.
According to local media reports, protests and conflicts broke out in several other cities.
Elsa Soldevilla, a 27-year-old student who participated in the protests, said: “This is a decline in a politically turbulent situation.” “If Vizcarra is guilty and payable, let him go to court. Congress does not need to take advantage of this.”
The widespread outrage over the removal of Vizcarra quickly spread to other political institutions in Peru, destroying the last vestiges of the legitimacy of the system that many citizens believed could not be repaired. Some in the protests accused the country’s Supreme Court, which refused to weigh Congress’ previous attempts to remove Mr. Vizcarra less than two months ago-an unrelated and still unproven crime.
The court is still evaluating Vizcarra’s request to clarify the use of the country’s outdated impeachment clause, which allows parliamentarians to use “permanent moral incompetence” as an excuse to remove a president who is morally or spiritually unfit for the presidency . The request was made in September.
The criticism of Mr. Viscala’s removal was magnified by its timing. The former president has an eight-month term and said he will not seek re-election in the general election originally scheduled for April.
He also promised to defend his corruption charges against prosecutors after leaving power. In his defense speech in Congress shortly before the impeachment, he accused his opponents of hypocrisy, pointing out that 68 of the country’s 130 members of Congress were under investigation for crimes such as corruption or money laundering.
According to Peruvian law, legislators enjoy parliamentary immunity, and Mr. Vizcarra’s campaign to overhaul the country’s governance failed to remove this benefit.
Mr. Vizkala’s political decline was partly his own. Diego Moya-Ocampos, a political risk analyst at the consulting firm, said that by limiting the legislator’s term to one term to ostensibly limit corruption, Mr. Vizcarra has eliminated responsibility and Motivation of experienced politicians to seek employment in Congress. IHS Markit, in London.
The result is a new and chaotic legislature composed of rookies from more than a dozen political parties and little-known politicians, including a political faction of a Messianic religious group and a supporter of a former prison officer , The latter advocated expelling teams for corrupt officials.
The new President Merino promised to focus on the pandemic and fulfill the scheduled election date of April 11.
In his speech on Tuesday, he said: “Today, people are looking forward to us, but they are also concerned about us.” “Our promise is a democratic transition.”
But the incident has frustrated many people in Peru, worrying that the country will face greater political unrest as it tries to recover from one of the world’s worst coronavirus outbreaks and reopen its hard-hit economy. According to data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Peru’s gross domestic product (GDP) will shrink by 14% this year, which is the largest decline since the country began collecting economic statistics in 1951.
Peruvian political analyst David Rivera stated that widespread opposition to Vizcarra’s impeachment will make it difficult for Merino to find qualified professionals to fill key positions in the interim government.
“Any serious technocrat or politician who wants to be a minister of Merino?” he said. “I don’t even want to imagine what this government will be like.”
Analysts said that due to the lack of legitimacy and popular support, Mr. Merino may take populist measures to govern, such as lowering business taxes and allowing citizens to withdraw funds from private insurance plans.
According to Martín Tanaka, a political scientist at the Catholic Catholic University of Peru, the greater risk is that the new government will use its shorter term to pass laws that benefit the commercial interests of its members.
Mr. Tanaka said: “The biggest problem is that within eight months, it will cause a lot of losses.”
Mirelis Morales contributed a report from Lima, Peru, and Isayen Herrera contributed a report from Caracas, Venezuela.