Thursday, October 28

Liberal Sagasti will be the next president of Peru

The legislator Francisco Sagasti, of the Purple Party, of a center-liberal tendency, will be the next president of Peru and will assume the void left after the resignation of Manuel Merino between a serious political and social crisis which led to massive citizen protests in his country.

Sagasti, 76, was elected by Congress to chair its board of directors and, consequently, will assume the presidential succession process established in the Constitution, which establishes that the holder of that power of the State assumes the presidency when there is no president.

The vote in favor of the list directed by Sagasti -presidency and the three vice-presidencies of the Table- was of 97 votes in favor and 26 against, and with it finally a way out of the political crisis, legitimacy and repressive violence that was unleashed in Peru as a result of the dismissal a week ago of Martín Vizcarra.

By the time Sagasti swears in the interim presidency of the Republic, which is estimated to be done in a matter of hours, Congress will be left in the hands of the leftist deputy Mirtha Vazquez.

Sagasti is a figure of relative consensus, well regarded by both the left and the right, and with a profile that can help reassure a citizenry fed up with the political maneuvers and subordinate interests evidenced by the parties that imposed the removal of Vizcarra and the inauguration of Merino.

In fact, Sagasti was one of the few deputies (only 19 of 130) who actively and passively opposed this dismissal due to its illegitimate, destabilizing nature and its estrangement from the popular will, which has finally been shown in fact.

The politician, an engineer by profession and who worked for several years as a technical advisor at the World Bank, it will apparently have more facilities than its predecessor to form a “broad-based” cabinet to ensure the 2021 general elections and a peaceful transition of power in July.

Difficult consensus

This choice of Sagasti, however, was not easy and came after a failed attempt on Sunday night, in which another list, this time led by the left-wing deputy Rocío Silva Santisteban and that he had him as first vice president, was rejected by the congressmen.

That list, which would have meant that for the first time in history a woman assumed the presidency of Peru, came to a vote after having been agreed upon by party spokespersons.

But nevertheless, in an act that Sagasti described as “treason”, many of the vows promised did not arrive, which forced a new day of negotiation among the congressmen.

Meanwhile, both the presidency of the Republic and the presidency of Congress were left vacant and two of the three Peruvian powers of the State inoperative in the context of an unprecedented social and political crisis that adds to the economic and health drama caused by Covid- 19.

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