The Constitutional Court today avoided ruling on the causes that make up the “permanent moral incapacity” of a president in Peru and opened the door to debate in an assembly to replace the constitution prepared during the government of Alberto Fujimori Fujimori in 1993.
On November 9, Congress removed President Martín Vizcarra with 105 votes for permanent moral incapacity Due to the investigation carried out by the prosecution for having received alleged bribes when he was regional governor of Moquegua, southern Peru, in two construction works.
The departure of Vizcarra and the entry of Manuel Merino as a replacement caused a massive protest in the country, which was harshly repressed by the police and caused the death of two students, (Jack Bryan Sanchez and Inti Sotelo) and about 200 wounded.
On the fifth day of government, Merino forced his resignation as interim president and Congress he chose the engineer Francisco Sagasti from the Purple Party. Peru had three presidents in a week and plunged into a political crisis of a similar caliber to the one that brought down the Fujimori government, now imprisoned for corruption and crimes against humanity.
Justices Augusto Ferrero, Manuel Miranda, Ernesto Blume and José Luis Sardón voted in favor of the highest Peruvian court not ruling on the issue while Marianella Ledesma, Eloy Espinoza-Saldaña and Carlos Ramos voted the opposite.
The ruling of the Constitutional Court was made at the request of then-President Martin Vizcarra (2017-2020) when Congress approved the first dismissal motion for the alleged irregular hiring of a bizarre adviser to the Ministry of Culture named Richard Cisneros but known as “Richard Swing ».
Alliance of left and right
The first request for Vizcarra’s dismissal in the Legislative did not get the necessary votes, it is for that reason, that immediately after a second impeachment petition was prepared which was presented by the left-wing party, Frente Amplio, led by Marco Arana.
The motion of the “Broad Front” had the close collaboration of political leaders in trouble such as José Luna and Antauro Humala, both detained; Keiko Sofía Fujimori with an investigation for money laundering in tow; César Acuña from Alianza por el Progreso, Virgilio Acuña from Unión por el Perú and Raúl Diez Canseco from Acción Popular, all owners of universities who seek to stop university reform in the Andean country.
“I deeply regret that the Constitutional Court has acted with its back to the country. Millions of Peruvians claiming in the streets, lives given to defend democracy and for them nothing happened. What a disappointment! “, Said on his Twitter account, former governor Vizcarra.
The magistrate of the TC, Ernesto Blume, who voted in favor of avoiding the pronouncement on the presidential vacancy, declared to Radioprogramas de Peru that “the concept of permanent moral incapacity should not be clear because it is an open clause that enables the congress to face various situations. The reality exceeds any forecast. There may be cases that we do not suppose but that disqualify the dignity of the president of the republic.
Meanwhile, the president of the TC, Marianella Ledesma regretted that there are magistrates that «do not listen to the street» and that “it cannot be that they decide that nothing happened here. A historic opportunity has been lost to comment on the departure of Mr. Vizcarra. Rules should have been set from here to the future on what is understood by moral incapacity.
“We have witnessed how an interpretation of moral incapacity has generated a crisis. The TC had in its hands to resolve this ambiguity. However, the majority decided not to say anything, “concluded Ledesma with indignation.
Meanwhile, the leader of the centrist Purple Party, Julio Guzmán, said that «it is unheard of that removing a president is easier than removing a mayor. The TC lost the historic opportunity to clarify, once and for all, the balance of powers and has left the door open to the coup plotters.
For the mayor of Lima, Jorge Muñoz, who belongs to the centrist Popular Action, “the Constitutional Court turns its back on reality and renounces its pacifying role.” The Ombudsman’s Office also criticized the decision of the Constitutional Court because “the country demanded that it fulfill its role as the final interpreter of the Constitution.”
Defense of democracy
The president of Transparency in Peru, Adriana Urrutia, told ABC that «the TC was expected to respond to the demand in defense of democracy. With this decision, it allows the political use of the vacancy due to moral incapacity to continue, legitimizes and makes the demand for a new constitution valid.
For Urrutia, “the demand for a constituent assembly is going to be an increasingly heard request in the electoral debate and it will be present in the 2021 elections because there is behind a citizen movement that has seen that the mobilization has results and that it has an agenda under construction, but without a doubt the theme that brings them together is the defense of democracy.
Finally, the historian Natalia Sobrevilla, explained to the ABC that the decision of the TC «turn your back on the country And it makes a requirement to draft a new constitution to replace Fujimori’s 1993 one.
“The doors are opened to a new institutional arrangement that resolves a hybrid system that is neither presidential nor parliamentary, which is not a problem when the same party controls the parliament and the executive, but when this is not the case, confrontation is assured. [Este conflicto] It was resolved before with coups, now with the parliamentary coup, “concluded the also author of” The beginnings of republican life. “
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.