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Peruvian president dissolves country’s Congress only hours before impeachment vote

FILE – Peruvian President Pedro Castillo gives a press conference at the presidential palace in Lima, Peru, Oct. 11, 2022. On Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2022, Castillo faces a third impeachment attempt by Congress. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia, File) Martin Mejia/AP

Peruvian president dissolves country’s Congress only hours before impeachment vote

Asher Notheis

December 07, 02:38 PM December 07, 02:46 PM

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Peruvian President Pedro Castillo dissolved the country’s congress hours before an impeachment debate for him had been scheduled.

The impeachment vote would have been congress’s third attempt at impeaching Castillo since he began his term as president in July 2021. Castillo also announced a curfew in the country, as well as the “reorganization” of Peru’s justice system, which will include the country’s top courts, according to Bloomberg.

“We took the decision of establishing a government of exception toward reestablishing the rule of law and democracy,” Castillo said in a televised speech on Wednesday. “From today and until the new congress is established, we will govern through decrees.”

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The president also announced that new elections would be held to elect lawmakers who will draft a new constitution within the next nine months.

Andrea Moncada, a political analyst, greatly condemned the dissolution, calling it “completely illegal.”

Last week, congress summoned Castillo to respond to accusations of “moral incapacity” to govern. In October, the prosecutor’s office filed a constitutional complaint against him before congress for allegedly leading “a criminal organization” to profit from state contracts and obstructing investigations, according to Reuters.

Castillo accused his opponents of trying to “blow up” Peru’s democracy and claimed the allegations against him were “slander,” adding that he is “not corrupt.”

The previous two attempts by congress to impeach Castillo took place in December 2021 and March earlier this year, both of which failed. To impeach the president, 87 votes in congress, about two-thirds of the 130-member body, would have been needed.

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