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  • Vice President Mercedes Araoz took office to become head of state, following the line of succession. 

    Vice President Mercedes Araoz took office to become head of state, following the line of succession.  | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 September 2019

Vice President Mercedes Araoz took office to become head of state, following the line of succession. 

Just hours after Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra signed an executive order to dissolve Congress, the same lawmakers voted Monday night in favor to suspend Vizcarra for one year due to "moral incapacity."

RELATED:

Peru President Dissolves Congress, Lawmakers Call to Remove Vizcarra

With 86 votes in favor, 0 against and 0 abstentions, an opposition majority in Congress approved the suspension for one year of the president.

"The present resolution of the Congress will be communicated immediately to the suspended and vice president of Peru," President of Congress Pedro Olaeche said.

Vice President Mercedes Araoz took office to become head of state, following the line of succession. Araoz was prime minister to former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.

"I ask all to begin a time of democratic coexistence and a governance agreement. We have to work together. I will convene the OAS for a space of reconciliation with all political forces," Araoz said as she was sworn into office by Olaeche. 

Meanwhile, Vizcarra named a new premier Vicente Zevallos with whom officiated the decree to dissolve Congress, parliamentary elections have been announced for January 2020.

“Today a historic step has been taken on the road to the recovery of our democracy. We must remain vigilant because the mafia is going to dig in with claws and teeth, they have too much to lose,” Veronika Mendoza from the New Peru Movement. 

This political crisis which developed on Monday night is being dubbed by many as a soft coup, which started when 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 and justifying the later vote to suspend him. 

The power struggle between the executive and legislature has brought Peru’s young democracy to the brink of a constitutional crisis, threatening to grind lawmaking to a halt and potentially trigger unrest in one of Latin America’s most stable economies.

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