The motion to remove Castillo from office does not reach the votes in the Congress of Peru | International

Peruvian politics passed a new knot this Monday, although the episode could be repeated in the short term. Since 2016, when Congress began to use the “permanent moral incapacity vacancy” against each president – an imprecise constitutional figure that, if it has 87 votes, allows the president to be removed – the destinies of the country seem trapped in the eternal struggle between the Executive and Legislative.

This Monday, in 13 minutes, President Pedro Castillo presented his defenses before a vacancy motion promoted by the opposition due to tax and journalistic complaints for interest trafficking and collusion, in which an interest manager, the former Secretary General of the presidency, three of his nephews and businessmen who sought to contract with the State. After 11:15 p.m. local time, the vote was 54 parliamentarians against, 55 in favor and 19 abstentions.

In December, a first motion against the president -for similar questions- did not get enough votes to be admitted to debate. Given the continuous use of said figure by Congress, the discredit of that power of the State increases every month. According to a survey by the Institute of Peruvian Studies released this Monday, 79% of those consulted disapprove of Parliament and 17% approve of it.

Last Friday, the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights issued a statement to reiterate its concern about “the use of this legal figure in a repeated and discretionary manner”, because “it has been promoted six times since December 2017, contributing to the problems governance of Peru, a country that has had five presidents and three parliaments since 2016 as a result of the confrontations between the different public powers”, he described. The vacancy motion against the president included 20 questions, some regarding the investigations opened by the attorney general for allegedly aggravated interest trafficking in military promotions, and for collusion by having intervened “improperly and indirectly” in two millionaire state contracts. , as indicated in January by the Public Ministry when the investigation began, which -according to the Constitution- can only continue against Castillo when he leaves the presidency.

The state contracts directed towards certain state suppliers were allegedly directed by the interest manager Karelim López, a friend of the former secretary general of the presidency Bruno Pacheco, to whom the Prosecutor’s Office found $20,000 in his office, an amount from which he has given different answers. about its origin. The lobbyist has been an aspiring effective collaborator of the Prosecutor’s Office since last month. Hours before the debate on the vacancy in the plenary session of Parliament, the police were looking for Pacheco, Castillo’s former right-hand man, to execute a preliminary prison order for ten days as part of the fiscal investigations. A judge ordered the preliminary imprisonment of eleven people for these cases, among them, three of Castillo’s nephews investigated for meetings with businessmen who supply the State, but they were not found either. One of the businessmen who was favored at the beginning of the Government with a concession to build a bridge, Zamir Villaverde, has been detained while investigations continue for influence peddling, aggravated collusion, or criminal organization, among other charges, due to irregularities in the public bidding for this work.

During his speech in Congress on Monday, Castillo rejected the questions to his management contained in the motion for vacancy, since -he said- “these are cases in which those referred to are third parties. They are all in the preliminary investigation phase and none of the facts have even been corroborated,” he said.

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The president also said that he is aware of his mistakes, but added that “there is no fact that can be classified as permanent moral incapacity.” Before giving way to his lawyer’s comments, he stated that he is willing to continue collaborating with the authorities in the investigations.

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