The Congressional Subcommittee on Constitutional Accusations can take today the first of seven steps on the road to the disqualification of former President Martín Vizcarra, due to the scandal of access to the Sinopharm vaccine, outside the clinical trial.
According to an estimate made within this special working group, if everything progresses smoothly, the disqualification process could culminate within a month and a half.
In other words, the Moqueguano politician could see his aspiration to reach Congress frustrated, either due to a possible ex officio exclusion by the electoral authority on the eve of the April 11 electoral act.
Or, he could also be prevented from receiving the credential as a congressman, if he is elected and Parliament approves the disqualification on a date after the day of the electoral act.
The first step
The subcommission chaired by legislator Carlos Pérez Ochoa (Popular Action) will meet today at nine in the morning to approve the 60th qualification report.
The document recommends declaring the origin of the constitutional complaints against Vizcarra and the former ministers Pilar Mazzetti (Health) and Elizabeth Astete (RREE).
Vizcarra is preliminarily attributed the violation of up to nine articles of the Constitution. Meanwhile, Mazzetti and Astete have violated five articles of the Magna Carta.
Additionally, Vizcarra and the former ministers are attributed the commission of criminal offenses; reason for which the origin of the complaints is also recommended, for the purposes of a political preliminary ruling.
This is just the first of seven steps. After today’s decision, everything will be sent to the Standing Committee.
The president of Congress, Mirtha Vásquez (Frente Amplio), must then convene a session of this instance to ratify the origin of the constitutional complaints.
At the moment, there is already a call to the Permanent Commission for March 1, in order to approve a complaint against the legislator Edgar Alarcón. It will be left to Mirtha Vásquez to expand the agenda to include the case of Vizcarra and the former ministers.
Only then can the subcommission designate the congressman in charge of carrying out the investigation. In fact, there is still a sequence of steps (see infographic) before everything reaches the plenary session, where they must finally approve the disqualification of Vizcarra from the exercise of any public function, including the position of congressman.
In fact, the now congressional candidate will have the opportunity to exercise his defense in up to three different moments, in the Subcommittee on Constitutional Accusations, the Permanent Commission and the plenary session.
The group had already decided last Friday to separate the content of the constitutional complaints into two large groups: those related to impeachment and those related to impeachment.
Remember: those of impeachment have the consequence of being disqualified from the exercise of public office, while those of impeachment are aimed at authorizing the Public Ministry to investigate and report them for the possible commission of crimes.
In dialogue with the Republic, the president of the sub-commission, Carlos Pérez Ochoa, explained that this decision will allow progress with the complaints of impeachment. “If we mix both groups, there may be some delaying strategy that can work against. The population requires that the investigation reach a conclusion; he does not want commissions that do not complete his work ”, he stressed.
He also pointed out that the second group of complaints of impeachment could take longer, because the defense of the accused may propose actions such as expert opinions or the summons of witnesses, as a way or attempt to delay the process.
Asked about the formation of a special investigative commission in Congress and the inquiries that the Public Ministry is already carrying out, Pérez Ochoa stated that the subcommission he presides will advance independently. That is, if the investigative group or the Prosecutor’s Office issue reports, these could be taken into account on the fly.
The fate of Vizcarra
Regarding the implications of the disqualification, the expert in electoral law José Tello highlights that there is jurisprudence according to which Vizcarra can be excluded from the electoral process, even in the days prior to the April 11 elections.
He specified that such a decision would have to be taken ex officio by the Lima Center 1 Special Electoral Jury. Vizcarra could appeal and the National Elections Jury (JNE) would have to decide in the last instance.
And what happens if the disqualification is not approved until April 11? José Tello specifies that if Congress decides the disqualification after that date, the JNE You can decide not to deliver the credential to the eventually elected Vizcarra.
Alejandro Salas, spokesperson for Somos Peru, warns of « political revenge » in this process. « Those who promote the process are congressmen who vacated former President Vizcarra and are now seeking to accelerate the disqualification in the framework of an electoral contest, » he said.
Part of the defense, from the We Are Peru party, is in line with the fact that the vaccines of Sinopharm The allocation of public resources was not compromised, for which, according to Salas, there would be no crime.
When asked if the legal defense of Vizcarra or the party will process any recourse to block this process, Salas specified that it is a legal strategy that will be analyzed after they are notified.
Salaverry justifies lies
The presidential candidate for Somos Peru, Daniel Salaverry, tried to justify the lies of Martín Vizcarra, who is now his political partner for this election day.
« But what politician has not lied, the one who has not done it to throw the first stone, » he said in Willax, in addition to considering only a mistake what Vizcarra did in the case get vaccinated.
This report must be approved today. It is the first of the seven steps towards disqualification.
Martín Vizcarra, latest news:
LR Policy Newsletter
Subscribe here to the Politica La República newsletter and receive daily in your email the most outstanding news of the issues that mark the national agenda.