Peru's Congress named today a moderate opposition leader and constitutional expert as interim president after it declared Alberto Fujimori morally unfit to be president and removed him from office in disgrace and amid serious allegations of corruption.
Valentín Paniagua congressional election ended after twelve hours of heated debate climaxed with the walkout of 29 Fujimori loyalists.
The vote to reject Fujimori's resignation, sent from Tokyo where the former strongman apparently has decided to reside with his family, marks the first time in Peruvian history that a president is declared morally unfit for office.
A shameful exit for a man who in ten years as president finished one of the bloodiest Marxist oriented guerrillas, railed the Peruvian economy and secured peace with Ecuador and Chile.
But Fujimori also secured an iron grip on power, ruled under practically dictatorial conditions and has the worst human rights record in the continent, while his right hand man and head of spies, Vladimiro Montesinos appealed to all resources to clamp opposition, courts, the press and even the military.
It was a video showing Montesinos bribing an opposition congressman that sparked the current crisis which ended in disgrace for both associates. Fujimori in Tokyo apologized to his supporters and said he has plans to continue in politics.
President Paniagua now has to lead Peru to elections scheduled for next April 8th. and a peaceful transition until July 28th. 2001 when the elected head of government will take office.