Merino Manuel

President Resigns Less Than One Week in Power

The interim president of Peru Manuel Merino has quit the presidency after less than one week in power.

The former speaker of Congress resigned after protests which erupted against his leadership led to deaths of two people.

Manuel Merino resigns
Peru’s interim President Manuel Merino announces his resignation in a televised address, in Lima, Peru, Nov. 15, 2020. Image/Courtesy

Merino had replaced President Martín Vizcarra who was on Monday impeached over bribery and corruption allegations.

But Moreno’s resignation, which has stunned the world, happened after politicians called for him to step down after a violent crackdown on demonstrations against him.

Earlier on Sunday, twelve ministers from his recently appointed cabinet resigned in protest against police brutality and his handling of the crisis.

Congress failed to agree a replacement for Mr Merino when it met on Sunday, rejecting a team led by Rocío Silva Santisteban, a writer and former human rights activist.

On Saturday, there were largely peaceful protests in Lima, but clashes broke out towards the evening between police and protesters.

Police reportedly fired tear gas and shotgun pellets to repel demonstrators, some of whom had thrown fireworks and stones.

Two students, Jack Pintado, 22, and Inti Sotelo, 24, were killed in the protests.

“I want to let the whole country know that I’m resigning,” Mr Merino said in a televised address.

There are concerns of a growing political crisis as Peru faces a severe economic downturn brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

Peru imposed one of the earliest and strictest lockdowns in Latin America to stop the spread of coronavirus – but has still seen cases rise rapidly.

 

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