Amid political storm, deputy Sagasti elected president of Peru

The parliamentarian, with a center-liberal tendency, will have the challenge of closing a crisis that has led thousands of outraged citizens to the streets.

By:
AFP / EFE

03:22 PM / 16/11/2020

The centrist parliamentarian Francisco Sagasti was elected this Monday 16-N by Congress as the new president of Peru, the third to hold office in a week, with the challenge of closing a political crisis that led thousands of outraged citizens to the streets.

A 76-year-old engineer who worked for the World Bank, Sagasti was elected as the new president of Congress, but it corresponds to him automatically and immediately assume as head of state, according to the Constitution, which establishes that the holder of that power of the State assumes the presidency when there is no agent.

Sagasti, who belongs to the Purple Party, with a center-liberal tendency, will have to complete the current term of government, which ends on July 28, 2021.

The vote in favor of the list directed by Sagasti -presidency and the three vice-presidencies of the Table- was 97 votes in favor and 26 against, and with it finally a way out of the political crisis, of legitimacy and of Repressive violence that was unleashed in Peru as a result of the dismissal of Martín Vizcarra a week ago.

When Sagasti swears in the interim presidency of the Republic, which is estimated to be done in a matter of hours, Congress will be in the hands of the leftist deputy Mirtha Vázquez.

Relative consensus figure

Sagasti is a figure of relative consensus, well regarded by both the left and the right, and with a profile that can help reassure a citizenry fed up with the political maneuvers and subordinate interests evidenced by the parties that imposed the removal of Vizcarra and the assumption of Merino.

In fact, Sagasti was one of the few deputies (only 19 of 130) who actively and passively opposed this dismissal due to its illegitimate, destabilizing nature and its distancing from the popular will, which has finally been shown in fact .

The politician, an engineer by profession and who worked for several years as a technical advisor at the World Bank, will apparently have more facilities than his predecessor to form a “broad-based” cabinet that will ensure the holding of the 2021 general elections and a peaceful transition. of power in July.

Complicated consensus

This election of Sagasti, however, was not easy and came after a failed attempt on Sunday night, in which another list, this time led by the left-wing deputy Rocío Silva Santisteban and who had him as first vice president , was rejected by the congressmen.

That list, which would have meant that for the first time in history a woman assumed the presidency of Peru, came to a vote after having been agreed upon by party spokespersons.

However, in an act that Sagasti described as “treason”, many of the promised votes did not arrive, forcing a new day of negotiation among the congressmen.

Meanwhile, both the presidency of the Republic and the presidency of Congress were left vacant and two of the three Peruvian powers of the State inoperative in the context of an unprecedented social and political crisis that adds to the economic and health drama caused by the covid- 19.

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