October 1, 2019

Peru president dissolves Congress, legislatures declare him suspended

Peru president dissolves Congress, legislatures declare him suspended

Peru President Martin Vizcarra

To intensify the fight against corruption, the Peru President, Martin Vizcarra dissolved the country’s Congress, stating it is hindering his anti-corruption measures.

Peru President Martin Vizcarra

In retaliation, the opposition-run Congress of Peru voted to suspend the President, thereby leaving his vice-president as the new leader.

The legislatures move according to officials does not comply with the country’s constitution since the Congress has been dissolved prior to the vote; thereby interpreting there was no Congress on the first place, hence no vote.

Hundreds of Mr Vizcarra’s supporters gathered outside the Congress building in the capital, Lima, to cheer the decision, while riot police stood by, according to BBC report.

The chaotic scenes came as Peru was still reeling from the fallout of a massive corruption scandal involving the Brazilian construction firm Odebrecht.

“Peruvian people, we have done all we could,” as paraphrased by BBC, Mr Vizcarra said in a televised statement that he had invoked a constitutional article allowing presidents to dissolve Congress.

The drastic move, he said, was necessary in order to hold new legislative elections after parliamentarians failed to pass his reforms and, last week, refused a bill to hold a snap election.

But opposition legislators responded by calling him a “dictator” and voted to declare him temporarily suspended, naming Vice-President Mercedes Aráoz as a replacement.

Mr Vizcarra was sworn in last year after his predecessor, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, resigned over allegations of corruption.

Peru’s three other most recent presidents have been linked to the Odebrecht scandal – which saw executives from the construction firm confess to having paid bribes to politicians in exchange for contracts in various parts of the world.

Vanguard News Nigeria.