Peru’s President Resigns – The New York Times


Facing widespread opposition, Peru’s interim president stepped in on Sunday for the sixth day of his work, which is already facing an economic coup and a devastating epidemic in a constitutional crisis.

President Manuel Merino took power on Tuesday, when legislators slammed the country by voting to remove the popular former president, Martin Vizcara, and then administered the oath to Mr. Merino, who was the head of Congress.

From his first moments in office, Mr. Merino faced opposition from Peruvians who took to the streets in protest and from prominent political and social leaders, many of whom said they do not recognize Mr. Merino as president .

On Sunday, most of the cabinet resigned and his last political allies left him, with Congress chosen to ask him to step down. Mr. Merino noted.

“I submit my irrevocable resignation,” Mr. Merino said on Sunday in a video address to the nation. “I call upon the peace and unity of all Peruvians.”

Mr Merino said he would now focus on ensuring a smooth transition for a new leader to avoid a vacuum in power. The Congress announced on Sunday that they would appoint a new Speaker from among the MPs later that day.

However, it was unclear if the Peruvian would accept Mr. Merino’s successor as their leader and end the daily protest that shook the nation. The nation’s congress in Peru is deeply unpopular – nearly half of its members are investigating corruption and other crimes – and many have attributed the political opportunism of their members to the current crisis.

Protests erupted on the streets of Lima’s capital, and then in other cities across the country, as the majority of MPs voted on Monday to oust the then President, Mr. Vizkara. In his removal, lawmakers cited indecent allegations of corruption and used an archaic constitutional clause allowing Congress to declare the president morally incompetent to lead the nation.

Mr Vijayakara was due to step down after the presidential election in April, and promised to face justice after he stepped down. During his two years, he gained the support of the majority of Peruvian immigrants by working to clean up Peru’s notorious poisonous political establishment.

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