Peruvians protest after president ousted

Police and protesters clashed in Peru's capital, Lima, on Tuesday(10 November) after the Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra was ousted on corruption allegations.

Shots rang out, tear gas wafted through the city's streets, and several protesters were seen detained by authorities.

The head of Peru's Congress, Manuel Merino, will serve as an interim president until July next year, but some protesters on Tuesday were angry at the impeachment and called for Vizcarra's return.

Many worried for the country's stability, as it already faces economic uncertainty worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

''We do not want a country with a congressional dictatorship, we want to be calm within the pandemic and not have another crisis on top of the one we already have."

This was the second effort by the opposition-dominated Congress to remove President Martín Vizcarra Monday over allegations that he accepted bribes from companies when he served as a governor.

Vizcarra has rejected the corruption allegations as "baseless" and "false" but also noted he would not contest his impeachment.

He spoke to reporters Monday, "I reiterate to the Peruvian people that I'm leaving with my conscience at peace and my duty fulfilled. We hope that Peru always takes the right path and we hope that we soon find out what the background motives were behind today's votes in congress."

Merino, Head of Congress and a member of the center-right Popular Action party, has clashed with Vizcarra's government in recent months over accusations that he tried to invoke the military to remove Vizcarra.

One mayor described it as a coup and some lawmakers have warned of heightened instability in the country, but Merino has denied any wrongdoing.

"There is nothing to celebrate here. I reiterate, it's a very difficult moment for the country. We have to assume it with complete moral and democratic courage. In that context, I express my respect for the institutions."

Analysts said Merino could push some populist measures in the months leading up to Peru's elections, scheduled for April 2021.

Video Transcript

- Police and protesters clashed in Peru's capital, Lima, on Tuesday after the Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra was ousted on corruption allegations.

[EXPLOSION]

Shots rang out.

[EXPLOSIONS]

Tear gas wafted through the city streets, and several protesters were seen detained by authorities.

The head of Peru's Congress, Manuel Merino, will serve as an interim president until July next year, but some protesters on Tuesday were angry at the impeachment and called for Vizcarra's return.

In a video circulating on social media, a congressman who voted in favor of the impeachment was punched in the face by a protester as he spoke to television reporters.

Many worry for the country's stability, as it already faces economic uncertainty worsened by the coronavirus pandemic.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: We do not want a country with a congressional dictatorship. We want to be calm within the pandemic and not have another crisis on top of the one we already have.

- This was the second effort by the opposition-dominated Congress to remove President Martín Vizcarra Monday over allegations that he accepted bribes from companies when he served as a governor.

Vizcarra has rejected the corruption allegations as "baseless" and "false," but also noted he would not contest his impeachment.

He spoke to reporters Monday.

MARTIN VIZCARRA: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: I reiterate to the Peruvian people that I'm leaving with my conscience at peace and my duty fulfilled. We hope the Peru always takes the right path.

- Merino, Head of Congress and a member of the center-right Popular Action Party, has clashed with Vizcarra's government in recent months over accusations that he tried to invoke the military to remove Vizcarra.

One mayor described it as a coup and some lawmakers have warned of heightened instability in the country, but Merino has denied any wrongdoing.

MANUEL MERINO: [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: There is nothing to celebrate here. I reiterate, it is a very difficult moment for the country. We have to assume it with complete moral and democratic courage. In that context, I express my regret for the institutions.

- Analysts said Merino could push some populist measures in the months leading up to Peru's elections, scheduled for April 2021.