Peruvian Congress Speaker Maria del Carmen Alva has been recorded last year granting President Pedro Castillo was going to be impeached out of office. These audios went viral Friday on social media.
We are going to remove only the president, said Alva in the audio, whose authenticity was confirmed by the chairwoman of the Legislative herself in a press conference in which she denounced that she has been the victim of a chuponeo (wiretapping).
Alva argued that this audio had been leaked intentionally as a cover-up to yet another involving the head of state.
The recording stems from around only two months after Castillo took office. As per the conversation, Alva turned down the proposal from her interlocutor, an identified female voice, that Vice President Dina Boluarte should be removed from office first.
There is a big difference, that the people are with us, they are with the Congress, they are not with Castillo, we are a thousand times higher, she argued.
According to all polls, the ratings of approval of both Castillo and Peru's one-house Parliament are hitting record lows.
Alva, one of Castillo's most prominent opponents, said a group of Constitutional Law scholars had explained that only if Castillo was removed from office would there be a need to call for fresh elections and that the Fujimorist lawmaker Patricia Juarez, who chairs the Constitution Committee, already had a bill ready for that.
”If the circumstances arise, that I have to assume (the Peruvian presidency) and call (elections) after six or eight months, I do that as president of Congress, I return to being a congresswoman, I do not even stay, nor do I leave, Alva said.
In Friday's press conference, Alva said that there was no plan to remove Castillo and that she was only explaining Article 115 of the Constitution, which indicates that the president can be replaced by his vice president due to temporary or permanent incapacity and that if both are impeded, the position is assumed by the Speaker of Congress.
If the impediment is permanent, the president of Congress immediately calls for elections, the law states. Alva maintained that, at that time, she considered Congress should remain until the end of its term, in 2026, but that now she believes that in the event that an issue was to occur general elections would have to be called.
If Castillo is overthrown, we all have to leave, we will leave, Alva said before underlining that her audio had been released a day after the transcription of another alleged audio bomb” was published, which the opposition and local media have linked to an alleged corruption scheme in the government.
Local media released a transcript in which businessman Zamir Villaverde, who is in prison while being investigated for corruption, allegedly offers a bribe to former Transport Minister Juan Silva to obtain the bid for the construction of a bridge. Villaverde has involved President Castillo in this alleged corruption scheme but has so far failed to submit any proof of his claims.