Peru’s President to Challenge Law That Limits His Power

Peru’s Congress Approves Law that Limits President’s Power

Peru’s President Pedro Castillo will challenge a recently approved law that left him even more politically vulnerable by limiting his power to dissolve congress. 

Justice Minister Anibal Torres told local radio RPP on Wednesday the government will ask the country’s top court to declare the law unconstitutional.

The proposal, approved by lawmakers late on Tuesday by 79 out of 130 votes, makes it harder for the government to invoke a constitutional mechanism known as vote of confidence. The president can dissolve congress if lawmakers twice deny him such vote. Former President Martin Vizcarra dismissed congress in 2019 using that mechanism. 

At the same time, lawmakers ignored a bill presented by the government that would restrict their ability to impeach the president. 

“Congress has broken the law,” Torres said. “Now there’s no more balance of power.”

Now the president can only ask lawmakers for a vote of confidence on government policies, and no longer on constitutional reforms. On the other hand, congress can still impeach the president on grounds of moral incapacity, a very broad definition that’s caused the ouster or resignation of three presidents over the past 3-1/2 years. 

The Constitutional Court currently composed by six justices must decide on the constitutionality of the law, which has yet to be published in the country’s official gazette. The government will need five votes from the top court to win the case.

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