Peru: Peruvian Interim President Merino resigns

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Mandatory Credit: Peruvian Presidency

Manuel Merino, acting president of Peru, resigned from office on Sunday after several days of nationwide protests against him.

Merino, who took office five days ago after Martin Vizcarra’s ousting, announced his "irrevocable" resignation in a televised message to the nation on Sunday, minutes after Congress urged him to step down.

"I present my irrevocable resignation from the office of president of the republic, and I invoke peace and unity for all Peruvians. My commitment is to Peru, and I will do my utmost to ensure the constitutional succession that Congress determines."

Merino’s resignation follows days of protests against the impeachment of former president Martín Vizcarra, which have resulted in the death of two people.

"All Peru is in mourning; nothing justifies that a legitimate protest should trigger the death of Peruvians. These events must be thoroughly investigated by the appropriate bodies to determine all responsibilities. We live in a democracy. Peru is our homeland. And I, like all of you, want the best for our country," added Merino.

Last Monday the Peruvian Congress voted overwhelmingly to remove Vizcarra over allegations that he has accepted bribes, which he denies. Peruvian media has pointed out that 68 of Peru’s 130 members of Congress are under investigation on charges including abuse of power, corruption and homicide.

Manuel Merino has been Peru’s third president since 2016 after Congress dismissed Vizcarra’s predecessor Pedro Pablo Kuczynski. Merino is facing charges of having illegally tried to gain the support of the military in Congress to secure Vizcarra’s removal.

The vote, which came weeks after a previous impeachment attempt, was a surprise to many as Peru has early elections scheduled in April of 2021.

*SOUNDBITES*

SOT, Manuel Merino, acting President of Peru (Spanish): "I would like to express my heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims who died during the protests, where citizens, exercising their rights and freedom, took to the streets to demonstrate. All of Peru is in mourning, nothing justifies that a legitimate protest should trigger the death of Peruvians. These events must be thoroughly investigated by the appropriate bodies to determine all responsibilities. We live in a democracy. Peru is our homeland. And I, like all of you, want the best for our country."

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SOT, Manuel Merino, acting President of Peru (Spanish): "I know that some are asking for my resignation. I am a statesman, and I am aware that there can be no power vacuum. In this respect, I have received the letters making your position available to all ministers. I must announce that the ministers will continue in their posts until the uncertainty of the present moment in which we live can be resolved. There will be no power vacuum whatsoever. Likewise, at this time, when the country is going through one of the greatest political crises, I would like to acknowledge to the whole country that I am presenting my irrevocable resignation from the position of President of the Republic, and I invoke peace and unity for all Peruvians. My commitment is to Peru, and I will do my utmost to ensure the constitutional succession that Congress will determine. Peru deserves to move forward."

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As a Republican I am a conservative but have a little libertarian leanings. I about 80% a Trump supporter. I agree with him most of the time but as I am a person that thinks for himself I don't go along with him just because he is the President. I am not like liberals that think their candidates are Gods and never wrong.
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As a Republican I am a conservative but have a little libertarian leanings. I about 80% a Trump supporter. I agree with him most of the time but as I am a person that thinks for himself I don't go along with him just because he is the President. I am not like liberals that think their candidates are Gods and never wrong.