Thousands of Peruvians demonstrate against impeachment of President Vizcarra

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Thousands of people took to the streets in the capital Lima and other cities in Peru on Saturday to protest against new president Manuel Merino and the deposition of his predecessor Martín Vizcarra. Peruvian broadcaster RPP reported that clashes between police and demonstrators left at least two dead and 60 injured.

A majority in the South American country’s parliament voted Monday to oust Vizcarra as president. He is reported to have accepted bribes from developers in 2014 as regional governor.

Parliament Speaker Merino has taken over presidential duties, but the protesters who took to the streets on Saturday and earlier in the week do not accept that. They argue that Merino came to power through “a parliamentary coup”.

Police cracked down on protesters on Saturday, including using tear gas to prevent a group from advancing to the convention building in Lima. According to Peruvian media, some ministers have resigned because they disagree with the crackdown by the police.

Since taking office, three attempts have been made to depose former president Vizcarra. In September, parliamentarians wanted to depose Vizcarra for allegedly paying a pop artist with government money to speak well of him. At the time, the Peruvian Congress voted against impeaching the former president.

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