The dismissal motion – called “vacancy” in Peru – was promoted by the non-grouped deputy Edward Malaga and contains the signatures of 67 of the 130 congressmen that make up the Peruvian chamber, although the legislative initiative must obtain the votes in favor of 87 parliamentarians in plenary to prosper.
In a subsequent press conference, Málaga explained that this legislative initiative “does not exclude the advancement of elections or political reforms” and denied that the congressmen are “clinging to office.” What’s more, he said that the impeachment motion is “the first step to advance to general elections”, which includes renewing Parliament.
It is false to say that we only have 67 votes for the vacancy. We have filed the motion with 67 SIGNATURES, an unprecedented number (26 required).
Today we have committed more than the 87 votes required for its approval. The challenge is to keep them until the day of the vote. pic.twitter.com/ztPksGtMb5
— Office Ed Málaga-Trillo 🇵🇪 (@despacho_emt) November 30, 2022
This is the third attempt by the opposition to remove Castillo in his year and a half in office, marked by constant clashes between his government and Congress, highly fragmented and dominated by the opposition, and instability in the Executive, which has had about 80 ministers in five cabinets.
This new impeachment motion, of more than 100 pages, maintains that “it is unacceptable that, despite the restrictions of article 117 of the Constitution, a president exercises office amid strong indications of corruption, serious indignity, or moral questions and ethical”. Specifically, the document refers to some accusations that revolve around Castillo and his closest circle, accused of being members of an alleged corrupt organization.
It also mentions the “taking over and dismantling of the State apparatus through the appointment of high officials with serious questions, favoring the interests of the president and his relatives to the detriment of citizen well-being.”
For this reason, they accuse the Head of State of having incurred in the grounds of “permanent moral incapacity”, a legal figure on which on several occasions the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) It has expressed its concern that it lacks an objective definition and that it has not been interpreted by the country’s Constitutional Court.
A dangerous context
The presentation of this dismissal motion comes amid an escalation of tensions between the two powers of the State, after the Government of Castillo interpreted the “flat rejection” of the board of directors of Congress regarding a proposal by its Executive as a first refusal to trust issue.
This decision, which the Government reads as a first “silver bullet” given the legal possibility of closing Parliament in the event of obtaining two denials of votes of confidence, last week caused a total crisis of the ministerial team headed by the former prime minister. Hannibal Torres.