Manuel Merino, Peru’s interim president who was sworn in just last week after the country’s legislature impeached former president Martin Vizcarra over corruption allegations, resigned on Sunday after two Peruvians died in protests which against the Congress for the impeachment of Vizcarra, NY Times reports.
The constitution of the country stipulates that the leader of the Congress which had been Merino would be sworn in as interim president following the impeachment of a president. The people are however staunchly against the new regime and have been showing their emotions through protests that started immediately after Vizcarra’s impeachment on Monday, last week.
Sunday’s resignation followed a long night of protests which had resulted in the death of two Peruvians. At least half of the members of Merino’s cabinet resigned following the protests. The citizens of the country have since taken to the streets to celebrate Merino’s resignation.
The Peruvian legislature convened an emergency meeting on Sunday to appoint a new president but no decision has been reached until late on the night on Sunday. Vizcarra has denounced Congress’s decision to appoint a president. He explained that the intervention of the institution had started the protests in the first place.
“Their actions brought us five days of disruption of our economic and social lives, they should not be the ones to appoint a new president,” the former president of the country said.
The country is currently battling with social unrest as well as one of the worst coronavirus outbreaks in the world, AP News writes.
Vizcarra had been impeached after Congress alleged that Vizcarra received over $630,000 in bribes when he was the governor of a province before he became president. The bribes, according to the Congress were received from contractors which he had given public construction works.
Vizcarra who has stated that he was not involved in any of such activity has not been charged but prosecutors announced last week that they are looking into the claims. Congress first tried to impeach Vizcarra in September but the first attempt had failed. They then tried again last week and impeached him with 105 senators voting to have him impeached out of 130 senators in the country’s Congress.
Merino was appointed as the interim president on Tuesday but his rule has been widely marked with demonstrations that later culminated in the death of two citizens of the country. His rule lasted for just six days. The policemen had responded to the protests by shooting rubber bullets at the protesters and using batons and tear gas to break up the crowds.
One of those that died, 22-year-old Jack Pintado, was shot 11 times while the other, 24-year-old Jordan Sorelo was shot four times.