It was approved by 120 of the 121 congressmen who voted. Now they must elect a new head of Parliament and therefore interim president.
The unicameral Congress of Peru accepted the resignation of the president of the republic, Manuel Merino, and he was preparing to debate who should take his place after the first in the line of succession, Luis Valdez, also announced his resignation.
Before ordering a short intermission room, Valdez proposed a new board of directors for parliament headed by Rocío Silva Santisteban, who, if that motion were approved, would become the first woman to head the Peruvian Executive.
The full Congress met this afternoon to consider Merino’s resignation – which he accepted with a single vote against and no abstention – and to designate his successor, according to state broadcaster TV Peru.
Merino had announced his resignation shortly after this noon, five days after taking office, amid massive protests against him and after Congress exhort him to leave office under threat of dismissal anyway.
“I want to acknowledge the entire country that I am resigning,” Merino declared in a television message to the country, which sparked a celebration in the streets of Lima, the day after the violent repression of protests that left two dead and more than a hundred injured.
The chosen one will be the third president in less than a week, in a nation hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic and 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 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 after the crackdown on protesters on Saturday.
The protests against the removal of Vizcarra and his replacement by Merino had last night the first two fatalities, at least one in a confrontation with the police.
“The Almenara hospital received (from the Red Cross) four people: three wounded and a body of a 25-year-old person,” who had gone to the protests, Alberto Huerta, from the Lima Ombudsman office, told reporters.
“The victim had pellet wounds on his face and scalp, according to the doctor,” the official said.
The newspaper Trade identified the victim as Jack Pintado Sánchez.
Hours later, the second death was confirmed, of a 24-year-old man identified as Inti Sotelo Camargo, who arrived with a serious chest wound at Hospital Grau. According to statements by the victim’s father and brother to the media, the young man would have arrived dead at the medical establishment.
The Ministry of Health reported this afternoon that at least 107 people were treated for “different types of injuries” produced during last night’s protests, of which 34 were still hospitalized.
This morning, the National Human Rights Coordinator published a list of citizens not located after the protests this Saturday.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) indicated on its Twitter account its concern and rejection of the repression and the lack of data on the fate of some protesters, whose situation was unknown.