On the 17th local time, Peruvian Congressman Francisco Sagasti took the oath in the country’s Congress to succeed Merino, who announced his resignation on the 15th, as the President of Peru.
Sagasti gave a speech after taking office. He first expressed his condolences to the victims of the national demonstrations last week. Sagasti promised to respect the general election process and work hard during his term to ensure that the presidential election to be held in April next year is fair and equitable. He also called on all sectors of Peru to unite and cooperate to promote a full economic recovery as soon as possible on the premise of effectively fighting Coronavirus pandemic.
On the 9th of this month, the Peruvian Congress voted to pass the impeachment bill against then-President Vizcarra on the grounds of suspected corruption and remove him from the presidency. Merino, then chairman of Congress, was sworn in as president the next day. The impeachment case and Merino’s rise to power triggered a nationwide protest in Peru.
The demonstrators expressed dissatisfaction with Congress’s removal of Vizcarra and demanded Merino’s resignation. During the protests on the 14th, demonstrators clashed with the police. Two people were killed in the capital Lima and nearly 100 others were injured.
This led to Merino, who took office less than a week, to resign. Subsequently, several congressional leaders, including the then chairman of the congress, also offered to resign. The Peruvian Constitution stipulates that when the President is unable to perform his duties, the Vice President shall take over.
Since the post of Vice President of Peru has been vacant since October last year, the post of President will be taken over by the President of the Congress. On the 16th, the Peruvian Congress held a plenary session.
Member Francisco Sagasti was elected as the new president of the Congress and took over as the president of Peru in accordance with constitutional procedures.
Sagasti, 76, is an industrial engineer. He has served as a member of Congress since March this year and has held positions in the Peruvian public sector and the World Bank. According to Peruvian media reports, the Peruvian Purple Party, to which Sagasti belongs, was established in 2017.
The founder and chairman of the party, Julio Guzman, was suspected of registering when he was running for the president on behalf of the “Common for Peru” party in 2016. Improperly disqualified from participating in the election.
In May of the same year, Guzman announced that he would create a new political party to participate in the next presidential election, and later co-founded the Peruvian Purple Party with Sagasti. Currently, the party occupies 9 of the 130 seats in the Peruvian Congress.