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Weekend Reads Peru: President Martin Vizcarra escapes impeachment

10:00  19 september  2020
10:00  19 september  2020 Source:   france24.com

Peru: President Martin Vizcarra escapes impeachment procedure

 Peru: President Martin Vizcarra escapes impeachment procedure © AP Photo / Rodrigo Abd Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra at the end of his hearing by Parliament on September 18, 2020 in Lima. Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra escaped impeachment for "moral incapacity", his opponents failing to muster the number of votes sufficient to overthrow him on Friday, September 18 in Parliament. The votes of 87 parliamentarians out of the 130 who make up the unicameral Parliament of Peru were necessary to remove the center-right president, in power since 2018.

The impeachment process against Martín Vizcarra began in the Congress of Peru on 11 September 2020 when congress initiated proceedings against Vizcarra on grounds of "moral incapacity"

President Martín Vizcarra speaking to Congress in Lima, Peru , on Friday.Credit Paolo Aguilar/EPA, via Shutterstock.

Le président du Pérou, Martin Vizcarra, le 18 septembre 2020, devant le Parlement péruvien à Lima. © via REUTERS - PERUVIAN PRESIDENCY The President of Peru, Martin Vizcarra, on September 18, 2020, in front of the Peruvian Parliament in Lima.

Accused of having manipulated witnesses in an investigation into suspicion of corruption, the President of Peru, Martin Vizcarra, remains in power after the impeachment procedure against him launched by Parliament failed.

Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra escaped dismissal for "moral incapacity" , his opponents not having managed to muster the number of votes sufficient to overthrow him, Friday, September 18, in Parliament.

The votes of 87 parliamentarians out of the 130 who make up the unicameral Parliament of Peru were necessary to remove the center-right president, in power since 2018.

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President Martin Vizcarra of Peru , center, in March. Congress voted to begin impeachment hearings to investigate accusations of obstruction of justice against Mr. Vizcarra .Credit Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press.

Peru 's Congress has started impeachment proceedings against President Martín Vizcarra who is accused of trying to obstruct a corruption investigation. The move was backed in a 65-36 vote. Lawmakers are expected to debate next week whether Mr Vizcarra should be removed for "moral

At the end of ten hours of debate, only 32 deputies voted to endorse the impeachment procedure for "moral incapacity", initiated last week by this same Parliament following accusations of manipulation of witnesses in an investigation for suspicion of corruption.

>> To read: Dissolved by President Vizcarra, the Parliament of Peru retaliates and suspends him for one year

The case concerns the hiring of a singer by the Ministry of Culture, justice suspecting the artist of 'have benefited from a contract of convenience.

Audio recordings in which Martin Vizcarra asks witnesses to lie had precipitated the vote on a motion of Parliament, 65 parliamentarians, out of the 52 required, having asked to start the impeachment procedure.

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Peru 's President Martin Vizcarra survived an impeachment vote in Congress on Friday as his opponents failed to win the votes necessary to remove him from power. Congress had voted last week to open impeachment proceedings against the 57-year-old president for "moral incapacity" over

Peru ’s congress opened impeachment proceedings against President Martin Vizcarra , throwing the country in political disarray just as it tries to recover from the devastating impact of the pandemic. On late Friday, lawmakers voted 65-36 with 24 abstentions to start the process that may remove Vizcarra

"The president lied to the people"

"The speed with which this process was carried out reflects a crisis of the institutions which further discredits the democratic system in the eyes of the people," political analyst Augusto Alvarez told AFP Rodrich.

At the opening of the debates around 10 am local (3 pm GMT), Martin Vizcarra went to Parliament to plead his case, although he is not required to do so by law: "I am not leaving, I haven't done it before and I'm not going to do it now, "he said. But he then withdrew, leaving the floor to his lawyer, Me Roberto Pereira, who asked for "the rejection" of the procedure "because it suffers from a lack of characterization of the facts".

For the conservative parliamentarian Maria Teresa Céspedes, the dismissal was justified because "the president lied to the population".

This political crisis does not suffer from ideological differences, since the president and the parliamentary majority are both center-right. It comes down, according to analysts and in the eyes of the population, to a simple power struggle, with the controversy around the singer's contract as a pretext.

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Peru 's President Martin Vizcarra survived an impeachment vote in Congress on Friday as his opponents failed to win the votes necessary to remove him from power. Congress had voted last week to open impeachment proceedings against the 57-year-old president for "moral incapacity" over

President Martin Vizcarra gives a televised message to the nation, in Lima, on September 10, 2020, amid a political crisis for Peru ’s Congress on Friday voted to open impeachment proceedings against President Martin Vizcarra for “moral incapacity” over accusations he tried to obstruct a

"Politicians should focus on other things that are much more important, namely the economic situation and the pandemic," said David Gonzalez, a 53-year-old self-employed worker.

Peruvian support for President Vizcarra

As Congress debated his future, Martin Vizcarra visited the northern city of Trujillo, where he called on parliamentarians to "work together to (... ) the people, for the young people who demand from the politicians that they stop fighting and that Peru come first ”.

"Nobody comes out on top" because "the population has understood that there is a political struggle while the pandemic is killing Peruvians and the country is plunged into frightening unemployment which will only recover in five years" , added the political analyst.

According to a poll released Tuesday, 80% of Peruvians believed that Martin Vizcarra, 57, should stay in power. The support he enjoys is due in particular to his intransigence towards Parliament, unlike his predecessors, and his anti-corruption crusade.

Peru has experienced strong political instability in recent years, with the last four presidents having trouble with the law.

It is also one of the countries hardest hit in the world by the pandemic, with more than 750,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 and more than 31,000 deaths, for a population of 33 million inhabitants.

With AFP

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