Peru's President Pedro Castillo arrested after trying to dissolve Congress

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Peru's President Pedro Castillo arrested after trying to dissolve Congress

The constitutional tribunal in Peru has described President Pedro Castillo as a coup and arrested him less than three hours after he tried to dissolve Congress in an action he described as a coup.

Vice President Dina Boluarte is due to be sworn in as president on Wednesday afternoon in Lima. She will be the sixth president of the politically volatile nation since the beginning of 2018, and the first woman to be head of state.

Castillo's attempt to suspend Congress for nine months, write a new constitution and impose a curfew triggered immediate backlash from lawmakers, the armed forces, the constitutional tribunal and his own cabinet.

In the impeachment vote, 101 lawmakers voted to oust Castillo for moral incapacity, six voted against and 10 abstaining.

Several ministers quit almost as soon as Castillo made his announcement, and the armed forces issued a statement saying they opposed any attempt to break the constitution. Several members of Castillo's own party supported the impeachment motion.

After Castillo spoke, Peru's sol fell by 1.7% against the dollar, then reversed its losses as the power grab fell apart.

Valerie Ho, a portfolio manager at Doubleline Group in Los Angeles, said Boluarte is not necessarily perceived as market friendly, but the general sentiment is that anyone is better than Castillo. She will have cabinet appointments as an important signpost. The move revived memories of the decision by former leader Alberto Fujimori in 1992 to dissolve Congress. He was supported by his ministers and the military at the time.

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