September 23, 2023

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Peru Prez says to leave office, won’t challenge removal vote

Lima, Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra has said that he will not challenge the Congress’ decision to impeach him and will “leave the presidential palace” immediately.

Vizcarra made the remarks in a speech on Monday night following a vote by the Congress to impeach him over bribery allegations, Xinhua news agency reported.

The opposition’s motion to impeach Vizcarra was backed by 105 of Peru’s 130 lawmakers, more than the 87 votes required for removal.

“I declare that without agreeing with the decision, today I will leave the presidential palace and go to my home,” he said.

“History and the Peruvian people will judge the decisions that each one of us makes,” the 57-year-old added.

Vizcarra said that he will not take any legal actions against the legislature, stressing that he does not want “it to be understood that his spirit of service to the people has been only a will to exercise power”.

The President maintained that he is leaving the presidency “with a clear conscience and duty fulfilled”, since “all my life I have acted with transparency and put all my effort, my ability and my heart at the service of the people”.

He also thanked the people “for undertaking with us the frontal fight against corruption,” adding that “I leave the government palace, as I entered two years and eight months ago, with my head held high.”

Vizcarra said that from now on he will face the investigations against him in a corresponding manner “to demonstrate, within the framework of the due process, the falsity of the accusations”.

This was the second attempt to impeach Vizcarra in just two months.

Last week, 60 lawmakers voted in favour, while 40 opposed and 18 abstained, the BBC reported.

In the first vote on September 18, only 32 lawmakers had cast their ballots in favour.

The impeachment proceedings were centred on Vizcarra’s relationship with a little-known singer Richard Cisneros and nearly $50,000 in questionable contracts that the latter was given by the Ministry of Culture.

The audios were recorded by the President’s former secretary Karem Roca.

The President has denied any wrongdoing and accused Congress of a political coup.

Presidential elections in Peru are scheduled for April 2021 and Vizcarra has been banned by the constitution from running for a second term.

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