Peru’s right-wing is making headway in its strategy of blocking and putting and end to the government of President Pedro Castillo. The Peruvian Parliament recently passed a law which would limit his abilities and make it possible to vote for his removal on the grounds of “moral incapacity.” These actions are clearly aimed at carrying out a parliamentary coup.
Peru’s parliament, the majority of which is opposed to President Castillo, approved a questionable law that limits the abilities of the Executive Branch with respect to Congress. In this case the law is directly aimed at prohibiting the “request for a vote of confidence,” which is considered a power of Congress and is relevant to the defense of constitutional reforms.
With this law in place, the government will not be able to carry out its proposed constitutional reforms and push for a referendum to choose a Constituent Assembly, proposals which aimed to change the Constitution drafted by the dictator Alberto Fujimori. However, the law does not change the powers of the Congress regarding the government, such as that of removing the president because of supposed “moral incapacity.”
The Parliamentary coup plot
With the passing of this problematic law, factions of the right-wing of Congress, characterized by their adherence to fujimorismo, are clearly paving the way for a parliamentary coup on the grounds of moral incapacity.
Moral incapacity in Peru can be applied through a process which only lasts several days and does not require impeachment. The process only requires the vote of two thirds of Congress. Currently, the Peruvian right-wing does not have enough votes, but it is searching for the necessary support.
Up until now, the government had the power to request a vote of confidence if it considered that the Congress was obstructing its work. Additionally, when this request was denied twice, the government could dissolve the Congress and call for legislative elections.
In response to these changes, the Minister of Justice and Human Rights made a demand before the Constitutional Courts (TC) on the basis that the laws passed by Congress to reinterpret the vote of confidence were unconstitutional.
“El MINJUSDH emitió la respectiva resolución que ya se hizo llegar al procurador especialista en materia constitucional. Esperamos que mañana o el lunes se interponga la demanda de inconstitucionalidad”. Ministro @anibaltorresv.
— Ministerio de Justicia y Derechos Humanos (@MinjusDH_Peru) October 22, 2021
The demand signals that the law undermines the balance of powers because it limits the vote of confidence, but not the power of the Legislative Branch to remove the president.
On the 4th of November, Congress is scheduled to debate the vote of confidence of the Legislative Branch which was requested for by the Council of Ministers.
Featured image: Peru’s President Pedro Castillo is fighting a drawn out coup attempt by Peru’s right wing. Photo courtesy of RedRadioVE.
(RedRadioVE) by Ana Perdigón
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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