Peru’s Vice President Dina Boluarte has become the country’s first female President after she was sworn in following the impeachment of former President Pedro Castillo for alleged “permanent moral incapacity”.
Boluarte was sworn in on Wednesday shortly after Congress dismissed Castillo with 101 votes in favour, six against and 10 abstentions, reports Xinhua news agency.
This was the third impeachment proceedings against him since he came to office in July 2021.
The former President has been detained after he had said earlier in the day that he was replacing Congress with an “exceptional emergency government”, Peru’s National Police (PNP) confirmed.
“Fulfilling our powers and attributes, the PNP detains President Pedro Castillo,” it said on Twitter.
It also published a photograph where Castillo can be seen sitting in an armchair at the headquarters of Lima’s Second Police Region.
According to local media, after announcing the dissolution of Congress, Castillo left the Government Palace accompanied by family members, including his wife, and former Prime Minister Anibal Torres.
Boluarte, a 60-year-old lawyer, said she would govern until July 2026, which is when Castillo’s presidency would have ended.
Speaking after taking the oath of office, she called for a political truce to overcome the crisis which has gripped the country.
“What I ask for is a space, a time to rescue the country,” she said.
Wednesday’s dramatic chain of events began with Castillo giving an address on national television in which he declared a state of emergency, the BBC reported.
He announced that he would dissolve the opposition-controlled Congress, a move which was met with shock both in Peru, several ministers resigned in protest, and abroad.
Peru has been going through a rocky political period, with multiple presidents ousted from office in recent years. In 2020, it had three presidents within the space of five days.
Castillo, who is a left-wing former school teacher, was elected in June 2021 in a polarising election in which he defeated his right-wing rival Keiko Fujimori.
He had recently been fighting allegations of corruption, which he said were part of a plot to oust him.