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  • Under Peru’s constitution, presidents can dissolve Congress to call new elections if the assembly delivers two votes of no-confidence in a government.

    Under Peru’s constitution, presidents can dissolve Congress to call new elections if the assembly delivers two votes of no-confidence in a government. | Photo: Peruvian Congress

Published 14 January 2020

With four votes in favor and three against, the magistrates debated for over three hours the constitutionality and legality behind Vizcarra´s decision. 

Peru’s Constitutional Court ruled Tuesday that President Martin Vizcarra’s dissolution of congress was constitutional, dismissing a legal claim from the former President of the legislative body Pedro Olaechea.

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With four votes in favor and three against, the magistrates debated for over three hours the constitutionality and legality behind Vizcarra´s decision. 

On Sept. 30, Vizcarra signed an executive order dissolving the opposition-run Congress as he considered that the legislature didn't go through with the head of state's proposed vote of confidence. 

However, after Vizcarra's decision was announced Congress approved the vote of confidence, leaving the country at a critical political standstill, as they have started a process to remove Vizcarra due to "permanent moral incapacity,"  appointing his then-Vice President Mercedes Araoz as interim president.

https://www.telesurenglish.net/news/Peru-President-Vizcarras-Cabinet-Approve-Decree-To-Elect-New-Congress-20191010-0024.html
 
"I will comply with the sentence, it will be history who judges the decision."
 

Vizcarra took the drastic step to keep lawmakers from appointing up to six out of seven justices in the Constitutional Court, a likely referee in any legal dispute between the government and Congress.

Araoz later announced her resignation as Vice President of the country and as head of state after Peru's Army, Navy, Air Force, and Police top commanders reaffirmed their allegiance to Vizcarra. 

For the four judges who rejected the claim, although Congress did approve the vote of confidence for Vizcarra, in practice, this was rejected since the voting of new members of the Constitutional Court was not suspended.

Whereas, for the other three constitutional judges who voted to declare the claim founded, the Executive acted unconstitutionally by assuming that he had been denied confidence in a “factual” manner; since finally, the parliamentarians did vote on it. 

Under Peru’s constitution, presidents can dissolve Congress to call new elections if the assembly delivers two votes of no-confidence in a government. The Congress already rejected a confidence vote once and had shelved Vizcarra’s proposal for a snap election.

With the legal resolution, on Jan. 26, the Andean nation will hold extraordinary parliamentary elections to choose a new Congress. 

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