Peru’s Interim President, Manuel Merino, Resigns After Police Kills Two Protesters
Manuel Merino’s exit follows outrage sparked by police shootings at pro-democracy rally leading to the death of two protesters and many left wounded.
Peru’s interim president, Manuel Merino, has resigned, on Sunday, less than a week into his office, following the killing of two protesters, during pro -democracy rallies calling for his removal, by the police on Saturday.
Protesters called for his removal and a subsequent police crackdown left at least two dead and dozens wounded.
In a televised address to the nation, Merino announced his resignation and insisted he acted within the law when he was sworn into office as chief of state on Tuesday, following congress’s removal of the elected president in an impeachment vote.
“I want to let the whole country know that I’m resigning,” Merino said in a televised address on Sunday. He added the move was “irrevocable” and called for “peace and unity”.
Merino assumed the presidency on Tuesday after the opposition-dominated Congress voted to remove his predecessor Martin Vizcarra over bribery allegations. Vizcarra has denied any wrongdoing.
Jack Brian Pintado Sánchez, 22, and Jordan Inti Sotelo Camargo, 24 were killed by police as they fired at protesters in a week of unrest over the controversial removal of Martín Vizcarra as president and replacing him with Merino.
Protesters decried Merino’s rise to power, accusing the legislature of staging a parliamentary coup against Vizcarra.
Merino’s resignation followed several calls by politicians urging him to step down, citing the undemocratic use of force against the country’s citizens.
Ousted president Vizcarra blamed the violence on repression by Merino’s “illegal and illegitimate government”.
“The country will not allow the deaths of these brave young men to go unpunished,” Vizcarra wrote on Twitter.
Merino became Peru’s third president in less than five years. Vizcarra took office in 2018 after former President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski resigned amid corruption allegations and impending impeachment. Vizcarra was Kuczynski’s Vice President.