Peru, A Country Without A President: Castillo Will Face Another Impeachment
The Peruvian Congress approved this week a debate on a motion of censure against President Pedro Castillo .
Photo: Presidency of the Republic of Peru
LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández
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Leer en español: Perú, un país sin presidente: Castillo se enfrentará a otro impeachment
Peru is a country that lives in a daily political crisis. It could be said that the crisis is already a chronic disease and part of the national scene. One of the main symptoms of this problem is the instability that not one, but all of its last former presidents have had. The country has already had 6 leaders in the last 6 years.
Well, the Inca legislature could add a new name to the list of presidents who do not finish their term. This is because Congress admitted a vacancy motion against Castillo, who since he became president has found fierce opposition in Congress.
Peru is a country accustomed to this and it could be said that Pedro Castillo is also accustomed to the same. Already in less than 7 months of Government, he will have to face for the second time this attempt at political impeachment. Now, the opposition parties need to remove no less than two-thirds of the total number of congressmen (130 from a unicameral system). This means 87 votes in favor of the vacancy motion due to permanent moral incapacity.
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On March 28, Castillo will have to convince Congress that the 20 reasons that the opposition argues against him are not convincing or sufficient to leave office. Among the accusations are the statements of Karelim López, a lobbyist who could involve the president in an alleged corruption scandal within the Ministry of Transport and Communications. According to the accusations against the Government, Castillo would have committed procedural fraud and falsehood. Adding to several other corruption scandals for alleged influence peddling for bidding for works by people close to the president.
This time President Castillo faces the possibility of losing office. This, since on this occasion, 76 parliamentarians voted in favor of the vacancy motion. This means that they are only 11 votes away from achieving the necessary two-thirds. However, if the leftist coalition joins (Free Peru, Democratic Peru and Together for Peru), it is 44 votes against, leaving the opposition with only 86 possible votes.
Likewise, although they do not achieve the necessary majority, the intentions of persisting in being able to remove President Pedro Castillo through democratic norms are clear.
First vacancy process
This first attempt at a vacancy motion against the Peruvian president occurred on November 24. This political process was promoted by the right-wing parties of Fuerza Popular, Renovación Popular and Avanza País. However, the attempt was unsuccessful, only having the support of 46 votes in favor.
For the vacancy motion to be admitted, at least 52 votes were needed. This number must increase to 87 votes to remove the president. Finally, many accused the process of wasting time, when this entity has been in charge of preventing Castillo's governability, despite also having a high rate of disapproval in the country.
What would happen if there is a vacancy motion against Castillo?
If the opposition advances and obtains the minimum number of favorable votes (87), President Castillo must leave office and hand it over to the vice president. At this time, it would be Dina Boluarte, who also serves as Minister of Development and Social Inclusion. Boularte is a lawyer graduated from the University of San Martín de Porres
The subsequent question is what will happen to the vast majority of Peruvians. If it is true that Castillo was elected largely by anti-Keiko votes, since no candidate showed great support in the primaries, both Congress and the Government have great disapproval. The newspaper El Comercio published on March 10 a survey in which Castillo has 66% disapproval and Congress, 70%.
When Martín Vizcarra was dismissed in 2020, thousands of Peruvians came out to protest, which triggered the resignation of Manuel Merino, a parliamentarian who had assumed the presidency after the vacancy motion against the president that his party (Acción Popular) promoted.