Peru swore in a new president on Wednesday December 7, following a day of political drama that saw ousted leader Pedro Castillo arrested after he was removed from office in an impeachment trial following his last-ditch bid to cling to power by dissolving Congress.
After Castillo’s attempt to shut down the legislature by decree- an illegal move, lawmakers moved ahead with a previously planned impeachment trial, with 101 votes in favour of removing him, six against removing him and 10 abstentions.
Following the vote on Wednesday, Vice President Dina Boluarte, a woman, was sworn in as president and will stay in power till 2026
The result by the legislature makes her the first woman to lead Peru. She called for a political truce after months of instability, including two prior impeachment attempts, and said a new cabinet inclusive of all political factions should be formed.
She then criticized Castillo’s move to dissolve Congress as an “attempted coup.”
A spokesperson for the U.S. State Department welcomed Boluarte’s appointment in a statement, adding that the United States would “support Peru under the unity government President Boluarte pledged to form.”
The Peruvian public ministry said on Wednesday evening that Castillo had been detained and accused of the crimes of “rebellion” and “conspiracy” for breaking the constitutional order.
Photos of Castillo leaving a police station trended on social media amid reports he would be moved to a police-run prison.
Earlier on Wednesday, Castillo said he would temporarily shut down Congress, launch a “government of exception,” and call for new legislative elections.
The statement caused resignations by his ministers amid angry accusations from both opposition politicians and his allies that he was attempting a coup. The police and armed forces warned him that the route he had taken to try to dissolve Congress was unconstitutional and the police said they had “intervened” to fulfill their duties.
Peru has gone through years of political turmoil, with multiple leaders accused of corruption, frequent impeachment attempts, and presidential terms cut short.