The Peruvian Congress on Monday approved a proposal to initiate a process to remove President Martín Vizcarra from office on corruption charges a month and a half after he survived a previous indictment.
Legislators approved the measure by 60-40 votes, with 18 abstentions. Vizcarra is ready to present its defense to Congress on November 9 with a new vote to follow.
The move to oust Vizcarra follows media reports that the president allegedly accepted bribes of about 2.3 million soles ($ 637,000) from two companies that won public tenders when he was governor of the southern region of Moquegua. Vizcarra has denied the allegations.
Several lawmakers during the debate said the allegations were serious enough to justify a lawsuit.
“That’s the least we have to do,” said lawmaker Diethell Columbus, of the right-wing Popular Force party of former presidential candidate and Vizcarra political opponent Keiko Fujimori.
The president of Peru, who took office in 2018 and is constitutionally barred from seeking a new term, said some lawmakers are only seeking to create “chaos and disorder” by pushing accusations just months ahead of a presidential election scheduled for April 11. .
“There is absolutely no evidence for the charges,” Vizcarra told reporters earlier Monday. “A lawsuit against prosecutors is destabilizing the country.”
Vizcarra, which does not have its own party representation in the legislature and whose term expires in July, survived an assassination attempt on September 18 amid political tensions and an economic recession caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Only 32 of Congress’ 130 members voted to remove him.
The political turbulence in the copper giant Peru comes as the country surpassed 900,000 cases of coronavirus and more than 34,500 deaths with one of the highest deaths per capita. Inhabitant of the world.