Peru president faces impeachment vote amid pandemic turmoil

Cheryl Sanders
September 21, 2020

Lawmakers appeared to be far short of the two-thirds majority vote required to remove Vizcarra from office, but even if he dodges the impeachment attempt, analysts warned that he would not escape the ordeal entirely unscathed.

During his presentation at the plenary session of Congress, the president urged legislators to debate his impeachment while keeping in mind that the country is in the midst of a health crisis.

Odebrecht has confessed to paying a $800 million in bribes to officials throughout Latin America, and also nearly every living former president was implicated in the scandal.

However, Vizcarra repeatedly clashed with hostile parliaments in attempts to reorganize Peru's political system, calling for an improvised legislative election previous year.

The 57-year-old President has denied any wrongdoing and accused Congress of a political coup. However, while economists have criticized that the hurried procedure where the impeachment proceedings was initiated in hours of their sound's launch, several agreed the president refused Peruvians an excuse.

"He is the only president that - without a great deal of electricity - has confronted from these shameless men and women", explained Pedro Quispe, a retired educator out selling face masks to get a current moment.

"Steve Levitsky, a Harvard University political scientist, stated Vizcarra has left" some small steps ahead" as it comes to corruption.

"He hasn't been able to carry out all the political reform that he and his allies hope to", Levitsky said. "But corruption in middle-income countries is never eliminated in a single presidency".

A high Peruvian court rejected a request by President Martín Vizcarra Thursday to halt impeachment proceedings being pushed by opposition lawmakers who contend he tried to cover up ties with a controversial ally.

The Congress announced last week that it would open impeachment proceedings against the president according to the leaked audio recordings.

Vizcarra didn't delve into details in his statement Friday, though he did point to inconsistencies in statements by a former aide who made the audios and said the only proven misconduct is having been illicitly recorded. "Let his ministers take the spotlight until his government is up". He began by calling on members present in the chamber to avoid any intolerant gestures towards the head of state, although most of the 130 lawmakers joined the debate by video link due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has taken a heavy toll in the South American country.

His presidency, it seems, will probably be book-ended by disasters.

"He's quite isolated, quite lonely", Burt said. "I really don't think anyone is winning in this situation".

Information for this article was contributed by Christine Armario of The Associated Press.

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