Friday, December 9, 2022

Peru has been politically unstable in recent times, having seen six presidents in the past six years.

Peru: Castillo faces first hearing as Boluarte takes charge

13 hours ago

Ousted Peruvian President Pedro Castillo faced his first hearing on charges of rebellion and conspiracy. Meanwhile, newly sworn-in President Dina Boluarte appeared to open the possibility for fresh elections.

Peru's former President Pedro Castillo faced his first court hearing on Thursday over his arrest on charges of rebellion and conspiracy.

Meanwhile, the ousted leader's vice president, Dina Boluarte, took charge as the new president, facing the difficult task of calming troubled political waters.

Ousted president appears in court

Castillo, a populist who entered office just 17 months ago, was removed from his position after a failed attempt to dissolve Congress to avoid an impeachment vote.

He attended the hearing via teleconference from a penitentiary center, only addressing the court in short "yes" or "no" answers.

He is being held in the same prison as strongman ex-President Alberto Fujimori, who ruled Peru between 1990 to 2000.

Peru has been politically unstable in recent times, having seen six presidents in the past six years.

His lawyer Victor Perez rejected the charges against him, and called his detention "arbitrary and illegal." A constitutional court has dismissed this claim.

Castillo was arrested Wednesday on criminal charges of rebellion and conspiracy, and also faces corruption charges. He is currently under detention for seven days. 

Some citizens have been protesting his arrest, expressing themselves through street demonstrations.

Castillo has asked for asylum in Mexico, and Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has shown openness towards it.

First female president seeks to quell chaos

Peru's new president, Dina Boluarte, now faces the difficult task of quelling the country's political upheaval.

Boluarte, who was Castillo's vice president, is expected to name a new cabinet soon. She is the first woman to hold the position in the Andean nation, and was sworn in on Wednesday.

Boluarte appeared to open the possibility of fresh elections, walking back initial remarks where she said she intended to complete the rest of Castillo's five-year term.

"I know there are voices indicating early elections and this is democratically respectable,'' Boluarte said.

She is also hopeful that the regional Pacific Alliance summit with Colombia, Chile and Mexico will take place in Lima next week.

tg/rs (AP, Reuters)

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