Peru’s Congress on Wednesday voted to remove President Pedro Castillo after he attempted to dissolve the legislature following their third attempt to remove him from office.
Lawmakers voted 101-6 with 10 abstentions to remove Castillo from office on grounds of “permanent moral incapacity.”
Vice President Dina Boluarte was quickly sworn in to replace Castillo. The 60-year-old lawyer was sworn in and became the first female leader in Peru’s history.
His oath limited the hours of uncertainty as both the president and Congress appeared to be exercising their constitutional powers to eliminate each other. He said his first order of business would be to address government corruption.
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“There was an attempted coup… that didn’t find an echo in the institutions or in the streets,” said Boluarte. He has called for a political truce to install a government of national unity.
Castillo left the presidential palace in an automobile that took him through downtown Lima and subsequently entered a police station, where his status was not immediately clear.
Shortly before the vote, Castillo announced he was installing a new emergency government and asked the next round of lawmakers to develop a new constitution. He said in a televised address that in the meantime he would rule by decree and ordered a nighttime curfew starting Wednesday evening.
Castillo also announced that he would change the leadership of the judiciary, the police and the constitutional court. Peru’s army chief then resigned, along with four ministers, including those of foreign affairs and the economy.
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Castillo intervened as his opponents in Congress moved toward a third attempt to remove him from office.
The congressional vote called for Boluarte to assume the presidency. Boluarte rejected Castillo’s actions, stating that he “aggravates the political and institutional crisis that Peruvian society will have to overcome with strict observance of the law.”
The Joint Chiefs and National Police of Peru rejected in a statement the constitutionality of Castillo’s dissolution of Congress.
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Since 2016, Peru has been entrenched in political crises, with congresses and presidents trying to eliminate each other.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.