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Peru elects 3rd president in a week amid street protests

On Monday, Peru’s legislature elected the country’s third president in a week, trying to intensify growing street protests over lawmakers’ decision to remove a popular president last week.

But the decision to name Francisco Sagasti, an engineer and academic, first became a lawmaker in March, as the country’s new president was not expected to quell popular anger at the country’s lawmakers.

Credit …Congress of Peru, through Getty Images

Many in Peru see legislators as treacherous, corrupt – and responsible for adding political turmoil to the economic and social health crises the country is already facing.

The problem facing Peruvians now is that the same deeply unpopular and inexperienced Congress has been tasked with moving the country out of these emergencies.

“God willing, they finally chose a better leader,” Eduardo Carita, 47, said as he left for Congress on Monday to join a protest just before the announcement, “but honestly, I don’t trust them much. . “

Political tensions in Peru erupted in open conflict last week when Congress relied on an archaic constitutional clause to remove Martin Viscara, a well-liked president for “moral incompetence,” just five months before the new election.

Mr Vizcarra had won the support of the majority of Peruvians – and the enmity of much of the legislature – by leading efforts to clean up the country’s notoriously corrupt establishment. About half of Congress is under investigation for crimes that include bribery and money laundering.

His unexpected removal and swearing in of a new president, Congressman Manuel Merino, left Peruvians suffering a severe economic downturn and one of the highest coronavirus mortality rates in the hands of a leader few knew or did not know. had confidence.

The population poured out their anger on the streets and Mr Merino resigned after less than six full days in office.

The report was contributed by Rosa Chavez Yachila and Mitra Taj.

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