Peru's congress speaker takes over presidency amid protests

Young journalists club

News ID: 49203
Publish Date: 11:55 - 11 November 2020
Wednesday, 11 November 2020_Speaker of Congress Manuel Merino assumed office Tuesday as Peru's third president in four years, amid street protests and market jitters after the impeachment of Martin Vizcarra over corruption allegations.

Peru's congress speaker takes over presidency amid protestsPolice clashed with demonstrators in the streets outside the Congress building in Lima as the little-known Merino was sworn in.

Clashes also occurred in the cities of Arequipa and Cusco, local media reported.

Vizcarra was dismissed in an impeachment vote late Monday, and on Tuesday he questioned the "legality and legitimacy" of his removal.

"Legality is in question because the Constitutional Court has not yet ruled and legitimacy is given by the people," he told reporters outside his home in the capital.

He said earlier he was leaving with his head "held high" despite allegations of bribe-taking that date from when he was governor of his native southern Moquegua region. He denied any wrongdoing.

Merino, 59, takes power for the remainder of Vizcarra's original term through July 2021, and immediately pledged to respect the electoral timetable.

Peru is set to hold general and presidential elections in April 2021.

Vizcarra survived a previous impeachment vote in September charged with "moral incapacity."

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