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Peru is currently living a crucial moment as the legislature of the Andean country will decide on Tuesday whether to open a debate on a motion of vacancy (impeachment) against leftist president Pedro Castillo, who took office a little more than four months ago.
Faced with this opposition initiative, the left, represented mainly by Peru Libre, finds itself in a dilemma. The ruling party had been fragmented and an important sector of the party has been raising serious ideological questions to the President.
However, the ruling party decided to put aside the discussions for the time being and committed itself to stand behind the executive branch.
"We have criticisms and observations of the President. But the fact that we have criticisms does not mean that we are going to support the vacancy request, which has neither head nor tail in its argumentation. This vacancy request does not move forward. We are not going to be the caboose of those people who want to reestablish the government they have had for more than 200 years," former prime minister and current congressman Guido Bellido declared to Sputnik Agency.
The legislator, Castillo's foremost critic within his own party, said that, even though the president "does not have ideological solidity" and often acts as a right-winger, his government represents a popular conquest.
On November 25, 28 congressmen from the right-wing and opposition benches of Avanza País, Renovación Popular and Fuerza Popular presented the impeachment request before the parliamentary board, appealing to the constitutional cause of "moral incapacity."
The motion document indicates that Castillo holds the presidency for "his own benefit or that of his friends due to the position he holds." Therefore, he would be "morally unfit" to hold the highest office in the country.
Vacancy requests have followed one after another in recent years in Peru, and in effect, have resulted in the removal of presidents Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in 2018 and Martin Vizcarra in 2020.
In this context, for several weeks, the big question was what position would be adopted by the sector of Peru Libre led by Bellido, who on numerous occasions disagreed with the President, arguing that his management is not in line with the principles of the left or with the own objectives of the political force.
However, despite this circumstantial support for the President in the face of the motion, it is unclear how Bellido's sector will act in the months ahead, who referred to it with ambiguity.
Peru’s single-house parliament is dominated by a right-wing opposition, while the ruling party Marxist Peru Libre party is the strongest minority, holding 37 seats. https://t.co/B2wPTTVixQ
"In the future, the President will fulfill his function as such and we will fulfill what corresponds as legislators. It is not unity, but simply that we are not going to be part of any attitude oriented to the presidential vacancy," he said to Sputnik.
For her part, former presidential candidate Verónika Mendoza, with a favorable position towards Castillo, did not hesitate to warn, in an interview with Sputnik Agency, that this fracture within the left will not bring stability to the Government.
She even pointed out that the left should not fall into "the game of the right," which seeks to "destabilize" the President.
"Unfortunately, the brutal campaign against the Government generates bewilderment, dislocates some progressive sectors. I think it is fundamental that we put the process of change ahead. We cannot fall into the game of the right-wing, which seeks to divide the forces of the left, especially when despite some difficulties or errors of President Castillo, important issues have been put on the table," said to this agency Mendoza of the Nuevo Perú-Juntos party (center-left), who supported the current President in the second round of elections last June.
She considered that if the sectors are really in favor of change, "it is fundamental that they support the process of change, with its difficulties or risks."
The President faced a political crisis when he appointed Bellido as the first minister of his first ministerial cabinet on July 29.
Bellido's administration was characterized by contradicting the President on political issues and confronting the opposition head-on. He left office on October 6 due to investigations by the prosecutor's office for terrorism, apology for terrorism, and alleged money laundering.