Peru opposition lawmakers file motion to impeach President Pedro Castillo

Peru’s President-elect Pedro Castillo waves upon his arrival at the Palacio de Torre Tagle, in Lima, Peru.

Opposition lawmakers in Peru, including from the party of narrowly defeated right-wing presidential candidate Keiko Fujimori, presented a motion in Congress on Thursday seeking to remove leftist President Pedro Castillo.

The motion, citing “moral inability” to govern, was presented with the signatures of 28 legislators. It will face a vote in Congress, as yet unscheduled, where 52 votes from 130 lawmakers would be needed to begin impeachment proceedings.

Castillo, in a speech in the Andean region of Jauja, said he was not concerned.

“I am not worried about the political noise because the people have chosen me, not the mafias or the corrupt,” he said, without directly mentioning the motion in Congress.

“I’m calm,” he said.

A final vote would require 87 votes to oust Castillo, who came to power in July but has seen his popularity wane, including with his own Marxist Free Peru party, amid a spate of mining protests and scandals hitting key ministers and advisers.

The potential impeachment, though yet to gain traction, has cast a shadow over Castillo’s administration. Peru’s Congress, which generally leans to the right, has a history of controversial impeachments.

An anti-corruption prosecutor’s office recently launched an investigation into a key presidential adviser, Bruno Pacheco, and found $20,000 in the bathroom of his government office in a raid. Pacheco, who denies wrongdoing, resigned last week.

Peru, the world’s second largest copper producer, has had five presidents since 2016.

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