After the resignation of former interim president Manuel Merino, just within 5 days of being in office, Francisco Sagasti is set to take over. The 76-year-old will preside over Peru until the presidential elections take place in April 2021.

Sagasti was appointed after winning 97 legislators’ votes with only 26 votes against him.

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The former World Bank official’s appointment occurs amidst a political crisis in the country. The impeachment of former president Martin Vizcarra gave rise to violent protests in Lima and other parts of Peru.

Manuel Merino’s decision to resign was followed by a week of protests over the impeachment of Vizcarra. Members of opposition parties and activists had denied the leadership of Merino.

Sagasti, whose term ends in July next year, said his government is focused on calming the current situation.

“Today is not a day for celebration because we have seen the death of two young people.”

Sagasti on being appointed as interim president

According to a poll by Ipsos, 90% of Peruvians disapprove of the Congress and most of them do not associate with any political party. Sagasti declared that there will be no immediate advancement towards a referendum on the matter. “We think this is a task for a new government, freely elected by the people. We don’t think this is a short-term priority” he said.

Impeachment of Martin Vizcarra

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On 9 November, former president Martin Vizcarra was ousted from the Government Palace by the Congress. The Congress accused him of accepting bribes from companies that won public works contracts as a governor.

Francisco Sagasti: Peru's newest interim President
Martin Vizcarra | Image: Al Jazeera

Vizcarra called out the accusations as ‘baseless’ and ‘false’, warning the Congress of the ‘unpredictable consequences’ that may follow. Since then, the country has dipped into political and economical instability. Nation-wide were seen which left 90 injured and 2 dead.

Many lawmakers called out this move as a “coup in disguise.”

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Source: CNN

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