Peru Leader Says Opposition Groups Want to Oust Him Over Reforms
(Bloomberg) -- Peru President Pedro Castillo said some political parties and economic interests are working to impeach him against the will of the public, the latest escalation of tensions with congress just four months into his term.
In an unscheduled televised speech in Lima late on Monday, Castillo said the groups are trying to remove him from power to prevent the “structural change” he is promoting in the South American country. He didn’t identify the people he alleges are behind the effort.
“Since the start of my government, a minority of political parties and economic groups haven’t accepted the electoral result and have always sought to attack the popular will,” he said in the address. “The goal of these groups is to impeach the president, without any substance and with absolute irresponsibility.”
The tension with congress comes at a difficult time for Castillo. Two parties -- Fuerza Popular and Renovacion Popular, who between them have enough votes to at least ask congress to debate impeachment on grounds of “permanent incapacity” -- have said they support the idea.
While it’s unclear whether the opposition can get the 52 votes needed for those proceedings to actually start, the debate is quickly undermining a president who’s lost the support of the far-left party behind his rapid rise to power.
Peru’s laws make it easier to oust a head of state than almost anywhere else in the world. The country has had five presidents in the last four years.
Over the weekend, local media reported that Castillo held several meetings with politicians and businesspeople outside government offices, which is forbidden in Peru. Castillo denied any wrongdoing in his speech Monday, saying all the meetings he held at a private home were “personal.”
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