Legislators from three right-wing parties in Peru on Thursday submitted a request to remove President Pedro Castillo for “permanent moral impotence” after nearly four months in office.
The Popular Power Request, Popular Renewal and Avanza Pas Party added the signatures of 28 legislators. The law indicates that 26 signatures are needed to submit the request, which must now collect another 52 votes to be accepted in the parliamentary debate.
However, the path to presidential impeachment is long and uncertain.
If the request gets 52 votes, then President Castillo will be called into Parliament to defend himself or his lawyers can also do so. Then the law indicates that a new session must be held where 87 votes must be obtained to impeach the president.
In the president’s impeachment motion, he noted that Castillo is seeking “a personal benefit or the interest of friends because of the position he holds.” He adds that Castillo is a “dangerous person for democracy” and if not removed would affect all Peruvians “and generate the poorest people in a rich country”.
The incident takes place one year after a chaotic week in which the South American country saw three leaders in one week and protests caused more than 200 injuries and demonstrators killed by police.
The impeachment petition comes shortly after prosecutors discovered $20,000 in a presidential palace bathroom belonging to the president’s former secretary during a corruption investigation.
Prosecutors are investigating former secretary Bruno Pacheco for “exploitation of influence”. On Wednesday, the government accepted the resignation of the presidential secretary, according to a decree published in the Official Gazette, in which he thanked “for the services he provided.”
The investigation began with the former secretary, who used to frequently accompany the president in his official activities, after local media published a complaint accusing him of asking the head of the tax authority to help a debtor company.
Earlier, ex-army chief Pacheco was also accused, saying that the presidential secretary was pressuring him to promote two underprivileged officers to the rank of general. In the end, the recommended army did not rise.
Castillo began his administration on July 28, and according to law it should expire in 2026.