Peru's Castillo dissolves Congress, declares state of emergency
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo says he will rule by decree.
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo announced on Wednesday the temporary dissolution of Congress and said he would rule by decree, just hours before a vote was scheduled on his impeachment.
Castillo said he established an emergency government to replace the right-wing dominated and highly unpopular Congress of the Republic and announced snap congressional elections following a failed impeachment attempt against him by the far-right Fuerza Popular.
The head of state has been facing non-stop accusations over allegations of corruption and accused of heading a criminal organization, accusations which he all denies.
"This intolerable situation cannot continue," Castillo said in a televised address.
He said he would form a new Congress "as soon as possible to draft a new Constitution within a period of no more than nine months."
"From this date and until the new Congress is established, the country will be governed by decree law. A national curfew is decreed as of today from 10:00pm to 4:00am."
He also announced the "reorganization of the justice system, the judiciary powers of the public ministry, the national board of justice and the constitutional court."
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Despite the absence of evidence to support the corruption case, Castillo is now being accused by right-wing politicians of carrying out a coup.
"President Pedro Castillo has carried out a coup. He has violated Article 117 of the Peruvian Constitution and has become illegal. This is a self-coup," political analyst Augusto Alvarez told AFP.
Ever since Castillo assumed the presidency, Congress has repeatedly been calling for his ouster based on "moral incapacity"; a phrase that's been used before to overthrow presidents in Peru.
He is currently under investigation in six corruption cases, which he all denies.
"I have never stolen from my country, I am not corrupt," he said on Tuesday.