Peruvian President Pedro Castillo Terrones has been under heavy criticism over the past few days as people are still trying to understand who the head of state's allies is.
After merely 120 days in office, he has changed a dozen ministers, firing those from the political alliance which led him to power and appointing others from different political standpoints, in addition to a couple of corruption scandals involving key figures of his administration.
In this scenario, hundreds of anti-government protesters took to the streets Saturday to urge Congress, under the control of right-wing opponents, to activate the vacancy mechanisms and call for new elections.
The new demonstrations were called on by former far-right presidential candidate Rafael López Aliaga. Under the motto Vacancy and New Elections!, protesters sought to put pressure on lawmakers to debate a vacancy motion submitted Thursday to remove him from office through a Constitutional procedure. Congress is scheduled to discuss the admission to the debate of the impeachment request on December 7.
Read also: Peruvian lawmakers want Castillo impeached
Democracy or communism read one of the protesters' banners Saturday, which many believed summed up Peru's dilemma should Castillo stay in office.
Some of Saturday's demonstrators wore Peru's national team jerseys while other preferred light blue clothing reading Popular Renovation, the ultra-conservative party behind the protests.
It was one of the largest anti-Castillo demonstrations since he came to power four months ago.
As per the Constitutional vacancy mechanism, 40% of the votes are required to move on with the procedure while 87 of the 130 lawmakers need to endorse the President's removal for it to become effective.
The vacancy motion was signed by parliamentarians from Avanza País, Fuerza Popular and Renovación Popular, who represent a third of Parliament with 43 votes, claiming the president is alleged morally incapacitated to discharge his duties. Vice President Dina Boluarte described the initiative as a coup d'état from Congress.
The possible dismissal of Castillo has been in the air since the day after his election in June when those three right-wing parties denounced fraud despite the endorsement given to the results by the electoral authorities and the observers of the Organization of the American States and the European Union.
According to a recent Ipsos poll released Nov. 14, Castillo's disapproval has reached 57%. Castillo's electoral victory has raised fears among Peruvians of a sharp turn toward socialism after decades of liberal policies. Many see in Castillo a local version of Nicolás Maduro if given the time to have things done his way.
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