Peruvian President Pedro Castillo had to drive back to the country from a trip to Ecuador to avoid being impeached by Congress after bad weather prevented him from traveling by plane.
In a country where presidents are frequently removed from office, Castillo risked breaking the Constitution if he did not return to Peru before midnight on Friday (2 am on Saturday, Brasília time).
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo, in typical Andean attire, speaks in Juliaca, in the Puno region (Photo: Carlos Mamani/AFP)
It was close to expiry of the permission given by Parliament to the leftist president to visit his neighbor in Ecuador, where he headed a binational cabinet with his counterpart Guillermo Lasso in the city of Loja, 264 kilometers by road from the Peruvian border.
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Exceeding the deadline would have given the opponents who control the Legislature a pretext to proceed with the dismissal of Castillo, since the Peruvian Magna Carta does not provide for exceptions for meteorological reasons.
As the presidential plane was unable to take off due to bad weather, Castillo had to go through a five-hour car journey to reach the Peruvian border in time.
An hour before the deadline, Castillo arrived at the Tumbes border post, according to local media, which freed him from facing a new “presidential vacancy” (dismissal) motion, the third in his nine months in power.
Peruvian President Pedro Castillo manages to escape impechment for the second time
The “vacancy” motions have become commonplace in Peru and caused the downfall of Presidents Pedro Pablo Kuczynski (right) in 2018 and Martín Vízcarra (center) in 2020, adding to the instability in the country.
Since December 2017, Peruvian parliamentarians have submitted six vacancy motions to Congress, two of them against Castillo.