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Constitutional Court of Peru rejects lawsuit for possible abuse of Congress in removal of Vizcarra

LIMA, Nov 19 (.) – Peru’s Constitutional Court rejected a lawsuit on Thursday to determine whether there was abuse by Congress in its action to remove former President Martín Vizcarra from office, extinguishing the former president’s last chance to reverse his dismissal.

The court reported that it declared inadmissible the appeal presented during the Vizcarra government in September, when the opposition-dominated Congress tried to remove the former president, something that it later achieved on a second opportunity to declare his “vacancy” in early November.

“The court declared the lawsuit inadmissible (…) which implies that there is nothing to say or discuss about President Vizcarra because he has already been vacated,” said the president of the court, Marianella Ledesma.

The Organization of American States (OAS) had asked the Constitutional Court of the Andean country to evaluate the legality and legitimacy of recent measures by Congress, whose decision to expel Vizcarra sparked a wave of protests that left two dead and dozens injured.

The decision of the constitutional court was rejected by the Peruvian Ombudsman, which according to analysts lost the opportunity to define the legal powers of an opposition Congress regarding the removal of a president.

“We regret the decision,” the defense attorney said on Twitter. “The democratic institutionality demanded that it fulfill its role as final interpreter of the Constitution and set constitutional criteria on grounds for vacancy,” he said.

After the expulsion of Vizcarra, the head of Congress, Manuel Merino, assumed as interim president, who later resigned under pressure from the protests. Later, Congress appointed centrist legislator Francisco Sagasti as his successor. (Report by Marco Aquino. Edited by Rodrigo Charme)