Francisco Sagasti was sworn in on Tuesday as the new interim president of Peru. The leader of the Purple Party He assumed office a day after Congress approved a new Board of Directors, following the resignation on Sunday of President Manuel Merino.
Mirtha Vasquez Chuquilin, who began the session with a request for a minute of silence in tribute to the two protesters who died in the protests last weekend and for the victims of the pandemic, assumed the position of interim vice president.
After 5 p.m. local time, and after the vice presidents of the Board of Directors convened and accompanied Sagasti to the hemicycle, the new head of state was sworn in before the plenary session to assume the functions of President of the Republic.
In his message to Congress, he began by remembering the young people “sadly deceased during the last days.” “They expressed and saw the citizen mobilization carried out in legitimate exercise of the fundamental right to protest.” In addition, he thanked the presence in the hemicycle of the relatives of Painted Jack, 22 years old, e You are Sotelo, 24 years old.
“We cannot bring these young people back to life, but we can prevent it from happening again, decisively supporting the injured, some of them seriously. On behalf of the State, I apologize to their families and to them. And to all the young people who marched for democracy ”, he said.
He also argued that his administration will redouble efforts “to find the missing compatriots” in the framework of the protests, and urged the Public Ministry “to continue with the investigations.” “There will be no impunity.” Earlier, the president indicated that he will ensure that the police who acted with violence are punished and considered that the agents have to be trained and established a direction that allows “avoiding excesses.”
He also referred to the political crisis that the country is going through, and considered that the political class in recent years “has not been up to the great challenges.” “We must urgently reverse this, putting aside grudges and resentments; only with humility will we be able to restart our journey that the heroes of the republic intuited ”.
“The policy has been very destructive (…) Let’s work for a better Peru, more united, with less rivalry and less confrontation. A more inclusive Peru. That is the great demand of the citizen movement “said the leader of the Purple Party, who urged the political blocs to seek “consensus or shared paths”: “This transitional government will not be a partisan government.”
In that sense, he said that in these months facing the bicentennial of Peru, his government will “everything everything possible to gain the trust of the public, and give them hope again ”. At all times he highlighted the young people who fought for democracy in these turbulent times. For this reason, he announced that “the ‘President of the Republic scholarship’ will change its name to ‘scholarship for the bicentennial generation'”.
In his speech, Sagasti listed the main challenges for his government: that next year’s elections “be clean and smooth”; attitude of neutrality in the electoral process; face the serious economic and health crisis caused by the pandemic; strengthen science and technology governance; work in the field of citizen security; responsible management of public spending; and equal opportunities.
On the fight against the pandemic, he indicated that he will seek a “balance between health and economic well-being”: “We will do everything possible to reduce the levels of infections trying to harm the economy as little as possible.” He announced, for his part, that they will focus on guaranteeing conditions and treatments for the most vulnerable.
Faced with the economic, social, political and health crisis that Peru is going through, he considered “essential to maintain calm, tranquility and equanimity.”
Another axis of his management will be to fight corruption. In this regard, he asserted: “We will support the work of the prosecutors, wherever it comes from, and wherever it is. We will strengthen the financial intelligence unit to fight against money laundering from illegal activities, and from the Government we will act with total transparency ”.
The leader of the Purple Party comes to power in the middle of one of the worst political crises in the history of Peru. Vizcarra was dismissed on November 9 after the approval of a vote of no confidence in Congress and the position was assumed by Merino, but as soon as he took office, protests began that worsened until on Saturday two people died and 107 were injured. in the mobilizations, of which 34 remain hospitalized. There are also 65 missing. Sagasti’s main objective will be to mitigate the political storm in the country and lead a peaceful transition until the presidential elections in April 2021. The inauguration of the president would take place on July 28, 2021.
This Tuesday the president commented that is already working on the formation of a “broad cabinet that represents the diversity and plurality” of the country, “With experienced people and the ability to work as a team.” “We hope to find those responsible for the ministries capable of working as a team and at this moment we have criteria, I cannot advance any names.”
He added that he will work to form his Government “slowly but surely”, because he prefers “to have a good cabinet”, even though he is “aware of the urgency of this.”
“Hopefully we can have all the diversity that exists in our country, the idea is to summon the best team and do it as quickly as possible,” he said.
Sagasti’s main objective will be to mitigate the political storm in the country and lead a peaceful transition until the presidential elections in April 2021. The inauguration of the president would take place on July 28, 2021.
The brand-new president of Peru 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.
The UN will send a mission to Peru
The United Nations Office for Human Rights announced Monday that it will send a mission to Peru to investigate possible violations of fundamental freedoms during the current political crisis in that country.
The institution’s spokesperson Marta Hurtado confirmed to the agency EFE the dispatch of the mission of experts and expressed the concern of the office headed by the high commissioner Michelle bachelet for the complaints of unnecessary and excessive use of force by the security forces, as well as detentions without due process. The mission was invited by the Peruvian authorities.
The official also expressed the office’s regret for the death of two young protesters – apparently in cases where such excessive use of force took place – and called for an impartial and transparent investigation into the circumstances of those events. “We are also concerned about reports that speak of more than 90 injured when they participated in peaceful demonstrations”, said the official source.
The spokeswoman reminded the Peruvian authorities that “any use of force by security forces must be reasonable, legal and proportionate to the level of the threat” and that firearms should not be used to control demonstrations.