The decade's most triggering comedy
Leftist Peru President Pedro Castillo was impeached on Wednesday after he attempted to dissolve Congress and install an alternative “exceptional emergency government.”
The Congress refused to follow Castillo’s announcement of dissolution and instead held a vote to impeach him. Legislators voted 101 to 6, with 10 abstaining, to kick Castillo out of office due to “permanent moral incapacity.”
They also said Vice President Dina Boluarte would be put in power. She had previously criticized Castillo’s moves on Twitter, stating, “I reject Pedro Castillo’s decision to break the constitutional order by closing the congress.”
“This is a coup d’etat that deepens the political and institutional crisis, and Peruvian society will have to overcome the crisis with a strict attachment to the law,” she added.
Castillo, who used to be a farmer, teacher, and union head, spoke publicly hours before an impeachment vote was set to happen. He said he would rule the country by decree as new legislative elections are set up.
“We have taken the decision to establish a government of exception, to reestablish the rule of law and democracy to which effect the following measures are dictated: to dissolve Congress temporarily, to install a government of exceptional emergency, to call to the shortest term possible to elections for a new Congress with the ability to draft a new Constitution,” Castillo said.
He also established an immediate nationwide curfew and said all Peruvian citizens should hand over their illegal guns. The curfew was set to last from 10 p.m. on Wednesday to 4 a.m. the Thursday. Castillo also said a new constitution should be written.
Last year, Castillo barely won the election during a runoff, and many of his rivals have never acknowledged his election. He is under investigation in six separate probes still being carried out by the National Prosecutor’s office. Five of the investigations are due to alleged corruption actions.
Many officials in his government resigned after his announcement on Wednesday. Ministers have been put in place, fired, replaced, or have stepped down since he took office.
The National Police and Joint Chiefs in the country had also denied that his move to dissolve Congress was constitutional.
“Any act contrary to the established constitutional order represents an infraction to the Constitution and will lead to the non-acceptance by the Armed Forces and the Police,” the Joint Command of the Armed Forces reportedly said in a statement. “The citizenship is called to remain calm and trust in the state institutions legally established.”
In a statement before the vote, the Ombudsman’s Office, an independent governmental group, said that Peru was in the middle of something “that can’t be called anything but a coup.” It said Castillo should step down and hand himself over to judicial personnel.
“Mr. Castillo must remember that he was not only elected president of the republic, but also that the people elected representatives for public service,” the statement said. “Castillo’s actions ignore the will of the people and are invalid.”