Amid protests, Peru gets its third President in a week

Peruvian lawmaker Francisco Sagasti is set to be sworn in as interim President on Tuesday after being voted for by Congress in a bid to help calm anger on the streets amid deadly protests and the departure of two presidents over the last week.

Mr. Sagasti, a legislator from the centrist Purple Party, will be sworn in at 4 p.m. to fulfil a government mandate until July next year, which would include holding a new presidential election scheduled for April 11.

The Andean nation has been shaken since the abrupt ouster in an impeachment trial of popular leader Martin Vizcarra last Monday. His successor, Manuel Merino, resigned on Sunday after two young people died in protests against his government.

Mr. Sagasti's appointment appeared to calm tensions, though a deep mistrust of the country's politicians still remains and on Monday night hundreds of people marched in the capital Lima, with calls for a new constitution and “justice for the fallen”.

Mr. Sagasti, 76, an engineer and former World Bank official, said on Monday night that he was considering names for Ministers in his government and did not rule out including members of the Cabinets of his predecessors. “If they are people with experience, integrity and the desire to work, I think we would do wrong to leave them aside,” Mr. Sagasti told local television station Canal N.

Mr. Sagasti will be Peru's fourth president in less than three years, after the departures of Mr. Vizcarra and Mr. Merino, and the resignation of Mr. Kuczynski in 2018 on allegations of corruption.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:07:36 PM |

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