Politics, Americas

Peru's interim president resigns after days of protests

Less than 5 days after taking office, Manuel Merino forced to step down amid strong opposition

Laura Gamba   | 15.11.2020
Peru's interim president resigns after days of protests

BOGOTA, Colombia 

Peru's interim President Manuel Merino announced his resignation on Sunday five days after taking office amid massive protests against him.

"I want to announce to the whole country my resignation," said Merino in a televised message a day after two people died and dozens were injured in Peru's capital Lima in violent clashes between police and protesters angered at the impeachment of President Martin Vizcarra.

Merino assumed the presidency after lawmakers voted on Monday to impeach his predecessor Vizcarra over alleged bribery, accusations that the former president has denied.

After holding an emergency meeting on Sunday morning, congress urged Merino to resign immediately to pacify the country that has experienced unrest since the popular Vizcarra was impeached.

Congress must now appoint a new president -- the third one in less than a week -- in a nation that faces a severe economic downturn brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

This will happen in an emergency session convened in the afternoon, meaning that the country will not have a president for a few hours.

Merino said that in order to avoid a "power vacuum," the 18 ministers he swore in on Thursday would remain in their posts temporarily, though most of them had resigned after the protests erupted Saturday.​​​​​​​

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