Clash Between Peru’s Government and Congress Triggers Crisis
(Bloomberg) -- A threat by Peru’s Prime Minister to take a step toward dissolving congress triggered a clash with lawmakers in the politically-volatile nation.
Prime Minister Guido Bellido said at a press conference late Wednesday that the government would consider activating a constitutional mechanism known as vote of confidence, which could eventually lead to new elections for the unicameral chamber.
Bellido’s threat was a response to an attempt by opposition lawmakers to force Labor Minister Iber Maravi to step down for alleged links to terrorists in the 1980s. Maravi has been called to congress Thursday to answer questions from legislators.
After his presentation the congress must decide in the coming days whether to censure the Labor Minister. He denies any link to terror groups.
The nation’s unusual constitutional rules allow the president to dissolve congress if lawmakers deliver two votes of no-confidence in his policies. In the early hours, a group of members of congress met with President Pedro Castillo in a bid to avoid a full-blown political crisis. After the meeting, head of congress Maria Alva said Castillo assured her that he isn’t seeking to dissolve the legislature.
Castillo hasn’t yet commented publicly on Bellido’s remarks.
Former president Martin Vizcarra dissolved congress in 2019 using this same mechanism, in a dispute over how senior judges are appointed.
Peru’s bonds due in 2031 fell for an 11th straight session on Thursday to 98.8 cents on the U.S. dollar, the lowest in five months. The extra yield investors demand to hold the nation’s sovereign debt, on average, over U.S. Treasuries climbed 5 basis points to 179 basis points, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s EMBI index.
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