He did so while the leaders of the Peruvian Congress discussed this Sunday in an emergency meeting the possible ways to overcome the crisis that they themselves unleashed when they dismissed President Martín Vizcarra in a lightning impeachment.
While the leaders of the Peruvian Congress discussed this Sunday in an emergency meeting the possible ways to overcome the crisis that they themselves unleashed by dismissing President Martín Vizcarra in a lightning impeachment six days ago, President Manuel Merino resigned from his post.
As soon as Merino made the announcement, the streets of Lima filled with protesters banging pans and shouting slogans, in a boisterous celebration.
“I want to acknowledge the entire country that I have submitted my resignation”Merino declared in a message to the country on television, which sparked a celebration in the streets of Lima, the day after the violent repression of protests that left two dead and a hundred injured.
Congress must now appoint a new president to pacify the country. The chosen one will be the third president in less than a week, in a nation badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recession, which plunged into a political crisis when Parliament removed popular president Martín Vizcarra in a whirlwind trial on Monday.
Merino said that for that there is no “power vacuum”, The 18 ministers he was sworn in on Thursday will remain in their posts temporarily, although virtually all had resigned following the crackdown on protesters on Saturday.
The heads of the nine parliamentary benches began a closed-door meeting in the morning, called by the new head of parliament, Luis Valdez. The congressman affirmed that the political situation in Peru is “unsustainable”, after the violent repression on Saturday against the massive demonstrations led by young pro-democracy indignant with the appointment of Merino.
The demonstrations have left two dead and 94 injured, according to officials of the Ministry of Health. But the National Human Rights Coordinator affirmed that the injured are 112 and warned that there are also 41 protesters “disappeared” after the marches on Saturday in Lima and other cities in the country.
Valdez demanded Saturday night Merino’s “immediate resignation”, as thousands of protesters demanded in the streets since Tuesday. That request now apparently has the support of several congressional benches, whose image was seriously damaged after the impeachment against Vizcarra, a very popular president.
“Congress must apologize to the country for such an irresponsible decision (to remove Vizcarra), “said leftist legislator Mirtha Vásquez, from the Frente Amplio, one of the 19 members of Parliament who voted against the dismissal, upon her arrival this Sunday for the meeting of the benches.
“Mr. Merino cannot continue one more minute in the Government Palace after what he has done to the Peruvians,” declared legislator Alberto de Belaunde, of the centrist Morado Party, the only one who rejected the removal as a whole. of Vizcarra.
Merino, a 59-year-old provincial politician almost unknown to Peruvians before taking office, has not commented on the criticism of the violent police repression nor the growing number of calls for him to resign, even from figures from his own party, the center-right Popular Action, such as the mayor of Lima, Jorge Muñoz.
Those killed in Saturday’s demonstrations were identified as Jack Bryan Pintado Sánchez, 22, and Inti Sotelo Camargo, 24, according to police. Photos of both circulate on social networks under the title “Heroes of the Bicentennial” (which Peru will meet on July 28, 2021).
Source: AFP and EFE