Sunday, October 24

Francisco Sagasti: the engineer who will become president of Peru


With clear support from his colleagues, the engineer Francisco Sagasti was elected president of the Peruvian Congress on Monday, with which he will also assume the position of president in charge.

Sagasti, a congressman since March 18 with the Purple Party, will thus assume the mission of leading the transitional government until July 28, 2021, at which time the winner of the general elections on April 11 will take power.

A politician from the center and with a reputation for being a man of consensus, Sagasti will be the third president to take the reins of the Peruvian government in a week.

His most urgent task is to appease the deep political crisis that led to the resignation of his predecessor, Manuel Merino, after a wave of protests in the country that left at least two dead and dozens injured and that erupted due to the impeachment in Congress. , last Monday, from President Martín Vizcarra.

“Today it is not a day of celebration, because we have seen the death of two young people in protest, “Sagasti said in Congress after the approval of the list he headed.

People carry a huge flag of Peru through the center of Lima
Demonstrators took to the streets of Lima with a large Peruvian flag. Reuters

Francisco Sagasti is “The ideal person to lead this Transitional Government”Julio Guzmán, founder and leader of the Purple Party, said two days ago.

Who is the new interim president?

“A decent policy”

Analysts agree in describing Sagasti as a sensible person who managed to convince the majority and who, since he arrived in Congress 8 months ago, has stood out for his conciliatory character.

In his campaign to win the seat for Lima with the number one on the Purple Party list, his motto was “Make a decent policy, fight against corruption and political reform”.

Celebration for the resignation of Merino in Peru
On Sunday night there were protesters who came out to celebrate Merino’s resignation. EPA

In February, when he had already won his seat in the extraordinary legislative elections, he affirmed: “The important thing about this Congress is break that idea that we have to fight between congressmen, between the groups, and look for what the citizenship has asked of us ”

He is president of the Commission for Science, Innovation and Technology of the Congress and, in addition, he is the main spokesman for the purple bench.

Last week, Sagasti voted against the presidential vacancy of Martín Vizcarra.

Industrial Engineer

76 years old and born in Lima, Sagasti is an engineer by profession and has a long national and international experience.

He has a Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State, United States) and has a Doctor of Philosophy degree since 1972 from the University of Pennsylvania.

Manuel Merino (left) with Martín Vizcarra in Congress
Francisco Sagasti becomes the interim presidency of Peru after the vacancy of Martín Vizcarra (right) and the resignation of Manuel Merino (left). Reuters

In Peru he founded and was executive director of the analysis group GRADE; He was an advisor to the Ministers of Industry, Foreign Relations, Education and to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers in different governments and also to the Head of the National Planning Institute.

He was a member of the National Council of Science and Technology; and advisor to several private companies, public institutions and non-governmental organizations.

He worked as a professor at the Universidad del Pacífico and the Universidad Católica, in addition to working as a project supervisor at the Niras Development Consulting company in Sweden (2016-2018).

He has also been a consultant to the United Nations and was a senior executive at the World Bank.

Kidnapping at the embassy

In 1996, Sagasti was kidnapped along with 700 other guests by the Túpac Amaru Revolutionary Movement during the seizure of the residence of the Japanese ambassador.

He was released a few days later and returned to Costa Rica, where he lived with his family at that time.

In addition to his career in the private sector and in politics, his collaborations in different media, the authorship of more than 25 books and the production of different series on television with which he has wanted to present an X-ray of his country are added.

Now, some analysts point out, his fundamental role in the interim presidency should be one of transition, with a minimal agenda and the ability to send a message of pacification to the citizens who continue to demonstrate.

Presidents of Peru

BBC

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