Peru: little support and many blunders in the attempt to remove President Martín Vizcarra points to failure

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Neither public opinion added to the “national outrage” expected by a discredited Congress, nor did the majority of the political forces seem to be able to confront the popularity of the president, with a “dark” case like the one denounced.

Far, and maybe even further still. So it is this Sunday the option for the opposition to dismiss to the president of Peru, Martín Vizcarra, after the promoters of the initiative encountered much less support than they believed and committed serious blunders that seem to condemn them to failure.

Although what happens in the political trial opened to Vizcarra in Congress is still surrounded by uncertainties, the truth is that the situation looks increasingly favorable for the president and worse, much worse, for those who vehemently support their expulsion from power.

Not even public opinion has joined in the “national outrage” that was supposedly going to generate audios that would compromise Vizcarra in a minor case of alleged corruption that is being investigated by Congress, not even the majority of political forces seem to bet for the dramatic step of beheading the State in this context of the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19.

Quite the opposite. They are the promoters of the measure, particularly the president of Congress, the opposition Manuel Merino, who would assume the Presidency of Peru if the impeachment is successful, those who have been covered in darkness about their intentions, maneuvers and honesty in this crisis.

On Thursday morning the bomb exploded when Edgar Alarcón, congressman of the ultra-nationalist Union for Peru party and former comptroller of the Republic, sworn enemy of Vizcarra and on whom several investigations for illicit enrichment weigh, released surprisingly, outside the parliamentary agenda and with the consent of Merino, three “anonymous” recordings.

In them various conversations are heard between Karem Roca, Vizcarra’s secretary, with the president and with singer Richard Swing where apparently the president coordinates how to hide visits from the latter to the Government Palace.

According to the president’s enemies, the audios reveal that the president lied and manipulated to deny his proximity to Swing, to which Congress investigate the high fees that he received from the Ministry of Culture since Vizcarra is president in hiring for acts of difficult justification.

The “defeat” of this impeachment attempt, called a “plot” against democracy for Vizcarra, it seems, however, to have been clear even since the process began.

“I felt the vote that admitted the vacancy (dismissal) as a defeat. This was previously arranged. Before voting, they spoke in Congress that they had 96 votes, but when we voted, they did not exceed 65. They felt concern and nervousness, “deputy Mirtha Vázquez, from the left-wing Broad Front, told Efe, who opposed the proposal.

The 65 votes in favor were enough to open the impeachment (52 were enough), but far from the 87 votes needed to achieve removal. Something had not gone according to plan, apparently.

“I think they were betting on a general angry mood, with the strategy of generating outrage to accelerate the process. They wanted to do it so fast that it appealed to the emotions before the reason of the congressmen. I think that the reaction of public opinion and the media helped calm the situation and cool down this call, “political scientist Mauricio Zavaleta analyzed for Efe.

And then the second bomb of this crisis or “the clumsiness committed by Merino, who in case of removing Vizcarra from power should be the one who forms an interim government until the next elections.

Merino called several leaders of the Armed Forces on Thursday to “transmit calm” in the face of parliamentary actions, even before the impeachment motion had been presented.

“Those mistakes come from the beginning, because you cannot invoke the vacancy when the investigation was not over“recalled Vásquez, who is a lawyer by profession.

“It was done hastily and clumsily. Invoking the military evidence clumsiness of great magnitude, and beyond that, a grave irresponsibility “he added.

For Zavaleta, the explanations given by Merino, who acknowledged the fact, are “implausible.” “Looks like he was actually calling for see if they would support him as president once the vacancy came out. It seems to me that this is the sense: ‘when this is finished I need you to be with me’, I don’t see any other reason than that, “said the political scientist.

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