Peru’s Congress has voted to open impeachment proceedings against President Martin Vizcarra for “moral incompetence” amid allegations that he tried to obstruct an investigation into nearly $ 50,000 in government contracts handed over to a famous singer Of.
Friday’s motion was approved by 65 votes, with 36 against and 24 disbelieving.
Fifty votes from the 130-member Congress were required to begin proceedings next week, and 87 votes would be required to remove Vizkara from office.
Six of the nine parties – representing 95 of the 130 Congress seats – have supported the motion.
There is a risk of Peru going ahead because it is one of the world’s worst coronovirus outbreaks. The Andean country is in the midst of an economic crisis, whose epidemic has reduced its second-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) by 30 percent.
Vijaykara, who lacks a party and has been in power since 2018, said he would not resign.
Last September, Vijaykara faced a previous attempt to oust him for incompetence and dissolve the Congress.
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The latest crisis began on Thursday when opposition legislator Edgar Alarcon presented the Congress with three audio recordings, which he claimed showed the president as his colleagues tried to cover meetings with Richard Cisneros, an artist who left 175,400 Government contract was awarded ($ 49,500) at the height of the epidemic for motivational negotiations of the soles.
The deals with Cisneros, also known as Richard Swing, are being investigated by Parliament and the Auditor General of Peru.
Cisneros was involved in the campaign of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who resigned as president in 2018 and was replaced by Vizcarra as vice president.
In Audios, Vizcarra holds two meetings with the singer and instructs his staff to reduce the meetings.
Critics say the meetings and contracts show a pattern of partisanship, but Vizkara denies any wrongdoing.
The President acknowledges knowing Cisneros but says he has no role in any contract.
He told reporters on Friday that the latest challenge represented a “conspiracy to destabilize the government”.
“I am not going to resign, I have a commitment to Peru and I will fulfill it till the last day of my mandate,” he said.
The presidential elections are due next year and Vizkara has already said that he will not run again.
“Peruvian democracy is unfortunately sinking further into adversity,” said Steve Levitsky, a political scientist at Harvard University. “The removal of the president is indeed a big deal, and it requires serious deliberation, public debate and investigation. There has been none.”
Al Jazeera and news agencies