(Bloomberg) -- Peruvian President Pedro Castillo is facing a third impeachment proceeding after a request backed by 67 lawmakers filed Tuesday set the stage for the latest clash between his leftwing government and the opposition-led legislature.
The motion easily cleared the limit it requires to be admitted but still requires 52 lawmakers to formally vote in favor. In March, the leftwing leader who took office in July 2021 survived a second impeachment effort as just 55 of the 130 legislators voted to oust him. To remove the former rural schoolteacher from power, the opposition needs 87 of the 130 lawmakers in Peru’s unicameral legislature.
Pressure on Castillo appears to be growing as independent lawmaker Eduardo Malaga filed the 100-page document accusing him of “permanent moral incapacity” less than a week after he named his fifth prime minister.
Malaga argued that Castillo is unfit to hold office due to alleged nepotism and a formal organized crime investigation by the prosecutor general.
The government argues that the prime minister and cabinet had to resign last Thursday after congress refused a vote of confidence.
Two consecutive votes of no confidence allow a president to dissolve the legislature. Jose Williams, the president of congress, has denied that the body held a formal vote of no confidence and has asked the Constitutional Tribunal to clarify.
Malaga told journalists he expected the impeachment to succeed, according to streamed remarks.
“At present, we have a number that easily surpasses 87 votes,” he said. “It’s the closest we’ve been yet” to removing Castillo, though unforeseen circumstance could mean that the impeachment fails.
If successful, the impeachment of Castillo, 52, would be the second after that of Martin Vizcarra in 2020. Vizcarra’s predecessor, Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, resigned in 2018 rather than face a second impeachment effort. Castillo would be succeeded by Vice President Dina Boluarte, who is also the subject to a graft investigation.
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