Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Peru: Castillo appoints a close ex-soldier as defense minister

LIMA ( Associated Press) – Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, who is facing an impeachment trial, on Monday named a retired military man who held a key position in the intelligence department as defense minister.

Castillo swore in Gustavo Bobbio, a retired army general who had served as chief advisor to the intelligence department. Bobbio is the sixth defense minister and replaces Daniel Barragán, who resigned on Saturday “for personal reasons” without giving further details.

The change comes two days before the opposition-majority parliament debates a third attempt to impeach the president. For so-called “permanent moral incapacity,” a reason that Peruvian law included more than 180 years ago that does not have an objective definition, according to experts. In the 19th century it meant “madness”, but is now associated with corruption.

It is unclear whether lawmakers will be able to muster the 87 votes needed to oust Castillo. In early 2022 and late 2021, legislators failed to remove the president, It is the seventh time since 2017 that parliament has used grounds of “permanent moral incapacity” to try to remove presidents, contributing to a political crisis that has not abated.

Castillo is being investigated primarily by prosecutors for alleged corruption. Prosecutors argue that the president takes advantage of his position of power to benefit financially from a coterie of family members, officials and friends. The President denies all allegations.

In Peru, a president cannot be prosecuted during his government because, according to the constitution, it can only be done for treason, dissolving parliament for matters other than permission, not calling elections, or preventing the functioning of Congress or other organizations. May be in case of Electoral.

Since 2016, Peru has had five leaders and three parliaments, whereas for a normal term there would have been two presidents and two congresses. In November 2020, the country had three presidents for just over a week amid clashes that left two dead and more than 200 injured.

Nation World News Desk
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