The second attempt of the Peruvian Congress to wrest power from Martin Vizcarra, the president of Peru has been successful. On Monday, the lawmakers voted and impeached Vizcarra over claims that he received bribes during his reign as a governor in the country. This is the second attempt to remove Vizcarra from the leadership of the country which is suffering from one of the worst outbreaks of the pandemic.
Peruvians have shown their dissatisfaction with the decision, even though Vizcarra said that he has willingly accepted the decision and will not appeal it in the courts of law. A large number of residents banged pots and other metallic objects on the streets in the country to show their love and support for Vizcarra.
Members of the Peruvian Congress from nine parties teamed up resulting in 105 votes against Vizcarra. The Peruvian Congress has a total of 130 members. The lawmakers stated that Vizcarra received bribes and was ineffective in the handling of the virus. Reports have it that Vizcarra was removed for trying to fight against corruption in the country, NY Times reports.
“I will not contest their decision, I’m going home today, I will graciously leave the post for them.” Vizcarra said, “I know that history and the people of Peru will correctly judge our actions.”
Vizcarra is known for his battle against corrupt practices in Peru even amongst officials in high positions. He stated that he has always known that they will hunt him down for trying to rid the country of their practices. Vizcarra’s fight against corrupt practices won him the love and support of the masses but earned him powerful enemies in the Peruvian legislature.
August Alvarez Rodrich, a political commentator in Peru, and other popular figure have decried the impeachment of Vizcarra. Roderick expressed fears that the common men in the country will suffer greatly from the aftermath of the impeachment.
“The people will bear the brunt of it all,” Rodrich wrote. “The politicians are only pursuing their illegitimate, greedy ambitions at the expense of the people.”
The last allegation made against Vizcarra is that he collected 2.3millin Soles ($637.200) as bribes from different contractors to whom he had given public construction contracts when he was the governor of the southern region of Moquegua. Jo-Marie Burt, a Peru expert from a Latin America advocacy group in Washington stated that some of the allegations against Vizcarra appear to be true.
“The corruption charges against Vizcarra do seem to have some basis to them,” Burt wrote on Twitter. “However most of the people that I’ve spoken with think that his crimes are not serious enough for the punishment.”
The country’s Constitution stipulates that in the event of an impeachment of a president the president of the congress, currently, Manuel Merino will take the post as an interim president. Merino’s reign as interim president will begin on Wednesday as the country prepares for a general election which will hold in April.