Peru president’s lawyer hails court decision blocking impeachment bid

Lima, Nov 23 (EFE).- The decision by Peru’s Constitutional Tribunal nullifying an attempt by opposition lawmakers to impeach President Pedro Castillo for treason sent a clear signal to Congress regarding the importance of due process, the head of state’s attorney said Wednesday.

Benji Espinoza added that he also plans to ask the court to quash Attorney General Patricia Benavides’ attempt to impeach Castillo for allegedly leading a corruption ring inside the government.

“Yesterday (Tuesday) the Constitutional Tribunal has given (lawmakers) a great juridical lesson, it has reminded them of their limits,” the lawyer said in an interview with Canal N television.

“If there is no constitutional behavior, it doesn’t matter if they have the votes, because that decision will be annulled sooner of later,” he said.

The accusation of treason was lodged after Castillo told CNN International in January that he would consider convening a referendum to decide whether Peru should offer landlocked neighbor Bolivia an outlet to the Pacific Ocean.

The tribunal concluded that the impeachment motion did not “conform with parameters of rationality.”

The final report from the congressional committee that approved the motion failed to cite “any objective element allowing one to conclude that a start had been made to executing any conduct … that materializes any kind of cession of national territory,” the tribunal wrote.

In his original comments to CNN International, Castillo made it clear that any concession to Bolivia would depend on the approval of Peruvian voters.

“I would never do things that the people don’t want,” the leftist president said in January.

Castillo, 53, was a schoolteacher with no previous political experience when he ran for president. He prevailed narrowly over right-winger Keiko Fujimori – daughter of jailed former President Alberto Fujimori – in a runoff and has been under constant pressure from Congress and the judiciary since taking office in July 2021.

EFE mmr/dr

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