Peru: President Martín Vizcarra will face an impeachment trial for “moral incapacity”

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The president is accused of asking his advisers to lie in a parliamentary investigation into a controversial contract with a singer

Peru’s Congress approved on Friday submitting an impeachment trial for “moral incapacity” to the president Martin Vizcarra after being accused of instigating his collaborators to lie when hiring a singer.

Although his adversaries managed to take him to the bench, they did not get the necessary 104 votes, of a total of 130, to dismiss him this Friday.

“The motion of vacancy of the President of the Republic has been approved,” said the head of Congress, Manuel Merino, after the vote.

The motion was approved by 65 votes, 36 against and 24 abstentions. 52 votes were required to accept it.

To remove the president, who lacks party and bench, 87 votes are required. After Vizcarra appears in Congress next Friday to defend himself, the plenary will debate and vote.

Vizcarra received a thunderous show of support with a # CacerolazoPorElPerú called by citizens on the networks and which was heard for long minutes in some districts of Lima, such as Miraflores, Barranco, Magdalena del Mar and Jesús María, among others.

Vizcarra, who took office in 2018 after the resignation of President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, of whom he was vice president, was on Thursday against the ropes after being accused of asking his advisers to lie in a parliamentary investigation into a controversial contract with a singer, according to the broadcast of some audios.

Before the plenary session, the opposition legislator José Vega said that these audios “corroborate” the alleged irregularities that Congress has been investigating for months.

But leftist MP Mirtha Vásquez criticized her colleagues for “pushing for a vacancy on an investigation that has not ended.”

“I ask Congress to analyze the situation cautiously, responsibly, and make the decision that you think is convenient“said Vizcarra when visiting the laboratory in charge of the tests of a potential Chinese vaccine against the covid-19 with 6,000 Peruvian volunteers.

The president insisted that he will not resign and received the support of former president Ollanta Humana (2011-2016), who affirmed that Vizcarra must continue until completing his term, on July 28, 2021, to “attend to health, reactivate the economy and guarantee clean elections “.

Before dealing with the vacancy motion, Congress approved a law that prevents those convicted by the courts from running for public office, a rule promoted by Vizcarra.

The case exploded in May when the press discovered that, in the midst of a pandemic, the Ministry of Culture had hired singer Richard “Swing” Cisneros, a little-known local artist who was a speaker and entertainer. boasted in means of having been an advisor to the government.

Parliament opened an investigation into the alleged irregular contracts for which Cisneros received $ 10,000.

“I am not going to resign, I am not going to come,” Vizcarra said Thursday in a television message, denying any illegal acts.

Shortly after, six of the nine parties with representation in Congress announced the presentation of the motion to declare the “vacancy” of the presidency.

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