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Peru top court rejects bid to block impeachment vote

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Peru’s President Martin Vizcarra speaks to media before an operation to distribute essential products among those in need amid the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic, in Villa Maria del Triunfo, on the southern outskirts of Lima, on September 15, 2020. – Vizcarra pushed back against his opponents on Monday days ahead of an impeachment vote, accusing Congress chief Manuel Merino of “conspiracy” by trying to secure military assurances for a bid to succeed him.<br />Congress voted late Friday to open impeachment proceedings against Vizcarra for “moral incapacity” over accusations he incited aides to lie to anti-graft investigators. (Photo by Ernesto BENAVIDES / AFP)

Peru’s top court on Thursday rejected a government bid to block the impeachment of President Martin Vizcarra.

The Constitutional Court ruled by five votes to two that the vote can go ahead in congress on Friday, its president Marianella Ledesma announced.

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Congress voted last week to open impeachment proceedings against Vizcarra for “moral incapacity” over accusations he incited aides to lie to anti-graft investigators.

Viscarra’s government had sought the court injunction on the grounds that Congress was not competent to rule on the president’s moral capacity.

However Ledesma said the seven-member court “has decided to admit the competency claim to proceedings” but pointed out that ruling would take several weeks.

Ledesma said that meanwhile, “in light of the declarations of political leaders, the risk of vacancy (of the office of president) has been weakened and there is no manifest urgency.”

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