Castillo announces that he will go to the Peruvian Congress to defend himself in a political trial

The Peruvian president, the leftist Pedro Castillo, announced this Thursday that he will go to Congress, dominated by the right-wing opposition, to defend himself in the impeachment trial that will debate his possible dismissal next Monday.

“Next week (Monday) we will be in Congress for a summons, a summons, to respond to what the Peruvian people want to believe,” Castillo said at a meeting with residents of the Platería district, in the Andean region. of Puno, one of his electoral strongholds.

Castillo warned his followers that he expects a media demolition campaign before the debate, spreading reports that seek to discredit him and sow doubts about his honor before the congressmen, in order to approve the vacancy due to alleged “moral incapacity.”

“I am sure that Congress is not going to fall (in that game),” he added.

Congress will meet this Monday to debate and vote on the vacancy motion, which could cause the fall of his government after just eight months in power.

The law allows Castillo to send his lawyer to Congress to defend himself.

His presence, however, does not give parliamentarians the right to interrogate him or engage in dialogue, so it is presumed that the president will exercise his defense by reading a message and then leaving the chamber before the debate.

If Castillo is dismissed, he will be replaced by his vice president, Dina Boluarte, but if she desists, it will be up to the head of Congress, the right-wing María del Carmen Alva.

This is the second vacancy motion against Castillo since July 2021, when he took over the country after winning a tight runoff over right-wing Keiko Fujimori. In December, Congress dismissed the first.

A possible dismissal has been in the air since his election in June of that year, when his rivals denounced “fraud” despite the endorsement of his victory by observers from the OAS and the European Union, and the recognition of the United States.

The opposition accuses Castillo, a 52-year-old rural teacher, who is to govern until July 2026, of lacking direction and allowing alleged corruption in his environment. They also criticize his constant ministerial crises.

Since 2017, Peru’s Congress has debated six impeachment requests against a president. Similar requests caused the fall of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (right) in 2018 and Martín Vizcarra (center) in 2020

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