Dina Boluarte was Peru’s first female President on Wednesday, kicking off a fabulous day marked by her predecessor’s arrest on suspicion of committing an offense of rebellion and impeached by legislators.
Boluarte, the ex-vice president, was elected into the presidency at Congress to become Peru’s sixth president within five years.
The ceremony took place after the majority of 101 members of the legislative body of 130 had voted to impeach the leader of the previous government, Pedro Castillo.
The day was tense when then-President Castillo declared plans for dissolving Congress and creating an emergency government ahead of an impending impeachment vote in the legislature, which Peru’s Ombudsman criticized as an “attempted coup of etat.”
He also called for elections in the parliamentary system to discuss an amendment to the Constitution.
The decision led to a series of cabinet resignations, furious responses from top officials, and condemnation from the regional neighbors. Still, it ultimately was not enough to stop his impeachment in Congress.
Peruvian military rebuffed Castillo’s plan to exclude lawmakers and called this an “infringement of the Constitution.”
And Boluarte herself has criticized Castillo’s plan to dissolve the government in a tweet, describing it as “a coup amplifying the institutional and political problem that Peruvian society will need to overcome with strict compliance in the laws.”
International officials joined in the chorus of condemnations for Castillo and Castillo’s supporters from the United States, urging the leader to “reverse” the policy to “allow democracy in Peru’s institutions function by the Constitution,” US Ambassador in Peru Lisa Kenna said on Twitter.
“We will remain vigilant and reject in a categorical way any act that is contrary to the Constitution of Peru, and any action that threatens the democracy of this country,” said US State Department spokesperson Ned Price in a statement.
Argentina’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed “deep worry” about the political turmoil in Peru, as stated in a post on Twitter as did the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an announcement that the actions of Castillo were “incompatible with the constitution of the country, and constitute an infringement of democracy and legality.”
In a dramatic sequence of events, Castillo was arrested by the police in the capital city of Lima following the impeachment of lawmakers in Congress.
Photos posted by the prefecture revealed an ex-President in blue pants sitting at a table while officials were signing documents.
In an official statement, Peru’s Attorney General announced that Castillo was detained for the suspected crime of rebellion “for breaching the constitutional law.”
“We condemn the violation of constitutional law,” the Attorney General of Peru, Patricia Benavides, said in an official statement. “The Political Constitution of Peru establishes the separation of power and declares that Peru is an independent and democratic republic … The authorities of Peru could be placed above the Constitution and must comply with the constitutional provisions.”
CNN has contacted the defense team to get their opinion on the accusations.
It’s a degrading conclusion to the brief period of his office. The teacher and the union President emerged from the shadows to win the presidency in July 2021, but only by a narrow edge in the runoff. They were viewed as part of the “pink river” of left-wing political leaders throughout Latin America.
He campaigned on a platform in which he promised to amend the Constitution to increase the redistribution of wealth by granting states more power in the marketplaces and the natural resource sector. Promises he’s struggled to keep despite an inflation increase in Peru, his lack of experience in politics, and the strong opposition from conservatives to his plans in Congress.
The leftist government leader was mired in chaos since its inauguration. Many ministers appointed, changed, ousted, or stepped down from their posts within a little more than one year, putting more pressure on the President.
Castillo has lashed out at the opposition for attempting to remove him from office on his first day. He has claimed Benavides of organizing an entirely new type of “coup of etat” against him by the office’s investigation.
Then, in October, Benavides submitted a Constitutional complaint to Castillo based on the findings of three of the investigations her office was opening. The complaint permits Congress to conduct its investigation into the former President.
[…] Peru’s President is impeached and detained when he tries to dissolve Congress in 2022 […]
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