Peru prosecutors to question president amid impeachment threat

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Left-wing President Pedro Castillo faces questions over promotions to military officers as lawmakers weigh impeachment.

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Peru’s prosecutors have called for questioning President Pedro Castillo as part of an investigation into the propaganda of some military officials, adding pressure to the socialist leader as legislators weigh the impeachment process.

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Prosecutors are set to question Castillo on December 14, after two former military chiefs said they were relieved of their duties after Castillo allegedly refused to promote certain officers recommended by him.

Local newspaper La Repubblica reported on Wednesday that military leaders, José Vizcarra lvarez, an army general, and Jorge Luis Chaparo Pinto, an air force general, testified before Peru’s prosecutor last month.

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The new allegations come as Castillo is already facing the weakest moment of his presidency, which began just four months ago.

Opposition legislators are pressing for possible impeachment, according to the pollster IEP, and their approval rating has hit a record low of 25 percent.

Last week, prosecutors raided the government palace in the capital Lima, where Castillo’s office is located, and found $20,000 in cash in a bathroom allegedly belonging to a senior adviser. Castillo fired the adviser, saying that his administration was committed to fighting corruption.

Lima-based journalist Simeon Tegel wrote on Twitter: “One thing for Pedro Castillo as President of Peru was the people’s identity as an ‘authentic’ figure, including the absence of personal links to corruption.”

“Now as soon as the approval is 25%, the image disintegrates. It’s hard to see him dodge impeachment, even if it’s unconstitutional.”

Local media reported Sunday that Castillo allegedly held meetings at his private home without disclosing them to his public agenda. Castillo denied any wrongdoing, saying the meetings were of a personal nature.

These allegations will put pressure on the impeachment motion moved by a group of legislators last week.

Congress is set to vote next week to begin the formal impeachment process, requiring only a simple majority to proceed.

Castillo was elected earlier this year by a narrow margin and has only a handful of seats in Congress.

He defeated the right-wing candidate Keiko Fujimori, who has said that members of his party in Congress would support impeachment.

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