Peru President Pedro Castillo impeached by lawmakers


President Pedro Castillo announced Wednesday that he would temporarily dissolve Congress, hours before the legislative body met for a motion of censure against the president and approved his dismissal.

But what does the Constitution of Peru say about this? The constitutional text gives the president the power to dissolve Congress — but only in some cases.

Castillo’s decision to dissolve Congress was an unconstitutional measure, according to the consensus of constitutional analysts in Peru.

According to Article 134, the president is empowered to dissolve Congress “if it has censured or denied its confidence” in two government ministers — known as members of the Council of Ministers – something that has not happened in the country.

What did occur is that on Nov. 11, the Peruvian Congress refused to address the procedure known as a “question of confidence” requested by the executive. Days later, Castillo accepted the resignation of the president of the Council of Ministers, Aníbal Torres.

Torres submitted his resignation after the administrators of the Congress, known as the “Mesa directiva,” rejected his request to change the circumstances under which a referendum could be called.

Even if the legality of the request was a matter of debate, there was still no second censure or denial of confidence in a government minister, as is required under the Constitution, making Castillo’s dissolution bid illegal.

Wednesday’s motion of impeachment was the third attempt against Castillo – and the fifth for a sitting president in the last five years.

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