SITUATION UPDATE BRIEF: PERU – POLICY RISK UNCHANGED, DESPITE IMPENDING IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS

Key Takeaways

On 18 September, the Peruvian Congress plans to begin impeachment proceedings against President Martín Vizcarra, who stands accused of influence peddling. Nevertheless, a highly fragmented Congress and an impending appeal at the Constitutional Tribunal will hinder efforts to impeach the president. As a result, policy risk is unlikely to be affected.

The risk of protests in the run-up to the 18 September proceedings is assessed as low. While support for Vizcarra remains high among the population, there is little indication that this will mobilise supporters in Lima due to concerns around public health and the pandemic. Rather, cacerolazos (the banging of pots) from private balconies are more likely.

Political crises are relatively common in Peru, as the opposition-led Congress consistently resists Vizcarra’s efforts to implement anti-corruption reforms. Further standoffs are likely ahead of the April 2021 elections, in which the president is barred from running for a consecutive term.

Background

Impeachment proceedings against President Martín Vizcarra were set in motion by the Peruvian Congress on 11 September on grounds of “moral incapacity”. This move follows the leaking of audio tapes in which the president appears to instruct his staff to downplay meetings with a local singer who was controversially awarded USD 50,000 in government contracts…

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