President Castillo avoids impeachment after long debate

Lima, Mar 29 (EFE).- Peruvian president Pedro Castillo survived a vote of no confidence on Monday over alleged “moral incapacity” after a marathon 10-hour parliamentary session.

Castillo opened the debate with a speech in which he insisted that there were no facts “that merit” the motion presented by a far-right section of the opposition, which controls the chamber.

The president received 55 votes in his favor compared to 54 against, with 19 abstentions. An absolute two-thirds majority was required to remove Castillo from office.

The motion included allegations of corruption, the appointment of controversial people in ministries and high public offices, and accused him of being unable to exercise the office of head of state.

Castillo said he had decided to appear before Congress to “show maximum respect for the constitutional state and its instruments of control” and that his fight “is not for the attachment to power, which is temporary”, but “to serve the country”.

“When a citizen is accused of something, that fact must be duly framed within the law”, he said before adding that the debate would demonstrate to the chamber that “this is not so”.

After the results of the vote were confirmed, delegates in the chamber defiantly chanted “El pueblo unido jamás será vencido” (‘the people united will never be defeated.’)

Following the debate, one of the delegates who tabled the no-confidence motion, Jorge Montoya of the far-right Renovación Popular (Popular Renovation) party, pledged to “continue working” and warned that the government must take action following the vote, which he said was a “wake-up call”.

The spokesman of the ruling Peru Libre party’s bench, Waldemar Cerrón, said that Congress “today has said no to the vacancy (impeachment), because democracy has to be defended”.

“The governability of our country is guaranteed”, he said.

Castillo, a former teacher and son of peasants, has now survived two confidence votes since taking office just eight months ago following a campaign in which he pledged to fight corruption and improve social services including education and health care.EFE


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