Amid upheaval, centrist is named as new leader

Peru’s Congress chose a new leader Monday who is expected to become the nation’s third president in the span of a week, a sign that the political crisis may be on the verge of resolution.

Lawmakers voted overwhelmingly in favor of Francisco Sagasti, from the centrist Purple Party, as the legislature’s new president. By law, the head of Congress should become the country’s new interim president.

It will fall to Sagasti to heal a nation bruised by a week of upheaval. The 76-year-old hails from a party that voted against the ouster of President , an anti-corruption crusader popular among Peruvians, which is likely to quell protests.

The Latin American nation’s political turmoil took a chaotic turn Sunday when interim leader Manuel Merino quit and Congress couldn’t decide on his replacement. That left Peru rudderless less than a week after legislators ignited a storm of protest by removing Vizcarra.

Using a 19th-century-era clause, legislators accused him of “permanent moral incapacity,” saying he took bribes in exchange for two construction contracts while governor of a small province years ago.

Prosecutors are investigating the accusations, but Vizcarra has not been charged.

The move outraged many in Peru, who denounced it as an illegal power grab by Congress, and prompted massive protests.

Merino stepped down Sunday after most of his cabinet resigned.

— Associated Press


25,000 fleeing conflict reach Sudan, U.N. says

Ethiopia’s growing conflict has resulted in more than 25,300 refugees fleeing the Tigray region into Sudan, the U.N. refugee agency said Monday, as fighting spilled beyond Ethiopia’s borders and threatened to inflame the Horn of Africa region.

More than 5,000 refugees arrived in Sudan’s border provinces of Kassala and al-Qadarif on Sunday, the highest single-day number of arrivals since the start of the conflict in Tigray this month, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees said.

Ethiopia’s prime minister, Abiy Ahmed, announced on Nov. 4 an offensive against the regional government in Tigray in response to an attack by Tigray forces. Each government regards the other as illegal.

Abiy’s government on Monday again refused international pleas for dialogue.

— Associated Press


Finance chief resigns
amid turmoil over truce

Armenia’s foreign minister submitted his resignation Monday amid political turmoil that has engulfed the country following a cease-fire deal for the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh that calls for ceding territory to longtime adversary Azerbaijan.

The Moscow-brokered truce stipulated that Armenia cede some areas it holds outside Nagorno-Karabakh’s borders to Azerbaijan.

Nagorno-Karabakh lies within Azerbaijan but has been under the control of ethnic Armenian forces backed by Armenia since a separatist war there ended in 1994. That war left not only Nagorno-Karabakh itself but also substantial surrounding territory in Armenian hands.

The fighting that erupted Sept. 27 marked the biggest escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan in more than a quarter-century and killed hundreds.

The truce has sparked protests in Armenia and demands for Prime Minister to step down.

Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanyan’s resignation was announced
shortly after Pashinyan said t
hat he had decided to dismiss him. Earlier Monday, the ministry publicly disagreed with Pashinyan over the course of
peace talks.

— Associated Press

Pro-E.U. candidate wins Moldovan presidential race:

Maia Sandu, a former World Bank economist who favors closer ties with the European Union, has won Moldova’s presidential runoff vote, defeating the pro-Russian incumbent, according to preliminary results from the election commission. Sandu captured more than 57 percent of the vote, more than 15 points ahead of incumbent Igor Dodon.

120 Syrian families released from Kurdish-run camp: Kurdish-led authorities released dozens of Syrian families from one of the largest camps in northeast Syria, many of them linked to the Islamic State group. The release of the 120 families comes a month after senior Kurdish officials said all 25,000 Syrian nationals in the al-Hol camp will be allowed to leave as part of a general amnesty to ease pressure on authorities maintaining the camp.

— From news services

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