The Peruvian Congress presented on Tuesday a request to dismiss president Pedro Castillo Terrones, for his alleged “moral incapacity” to hold office for the third time since he arrived the office, 16 months ago.
The vacancy motion bears the signature of 67 representatives of various opposition benches, who backed the proposal promoted by centrist parliamentarian Edward Malaga.
We propose the vacancy of the Presidency of the Republic, occupied by José Pedro Castillo Terrones for having incurred in the cause of permanent moral incapacity, says the text of the motion disseminated in local media and social networks.
Castillo and his entourage landed in Santiago de Chile on Tuesday morning during an official tour during which he met his Chilean colleague Gabriel Boric Font.
The head of state's mission seeks to boost bilateral trade and cooperation, it was explained. The agenda also includes meetings between ministers and an appearance by Castillo before the Peru-Chile Business Council, in addition to the signing of a Declaration and other announcements yet to be confirmed.
The permanent moral incapacity of the president is configured by serious ethical faults that threaten the dignity of the presidential figure, it adds.
The signatory legislators belong to the right-wing parties Renovación Popular, Avanza País, Fuerza Popular and Acción Popular and Alianza para el Progreso (center-right).
The request submitted is the first step to initiate a formal vacancy process, which must still overcome another legal hurdle before the request is admitted for debate.
In case of admission, the Congress must invite Castillo and his lawyer to defend themselves before the national representation in a term of up to 10 days.
To remove a president, the Peruvian Constitution requires 87 votes, a number the opposition does not have.
This is the third motion to remove Castillo. On March, the previous one reached only 55 votes. The first motion, which dates back to December 2021, was never debated by the full Congress.
The new request comes at a time of growing tension between the leftist Executive and the right-wing controlled Legislative.
Castillo denounced in October a parliamentary coup in progress and requested the intervention of the OAS, while the head of Congress, Jose Williams, accused the president of wanting to dissolve the parliament.
An OAS mission visited Lima a week ago and met with authorities and opponents calling for dialogue between the parties.
Pressure also increased after the Congress began to evaluate a complaint by the prosecutor's office against Castillo, whom it is investigating for alleged corruption and is asking to temporarily remove him from office.
Castillo, a 53 year old rural teacher and teacher union leader, says he is the victim of a campaign to remove him from power.