Peru got its third president in a week. What happens now?

The Peruvian Congress chose centrist Francisco Sagasti as the country's president.


Peru swore in its third president in just over a week on Tuesday, after the nation's unstable political system crumbled spectacularly.
    Francisco Sagasti became the fourth Peruvian president in less than five years after Congress voted to oust popular ex-president Martin Vizcarra and Vizcarra's replacement, Manuel Merino, resigned.
      Sagasti will now have five months in office to steady the ship ahead of presidential elections in April 2021 amid a deadly pandemic and a public discontented with its bickering political class. Here's what you need to know.
      Manuel Merino was interim president for just five days.

      How Peru lost its last elected president

      The current crisis is the culmination of four years of wrangling between multiple Peruvian presidents and the opposition-controlled Congress says Denisse Rodriguez-Olivari, a Peruvian political scientist at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.
        Congress had put forward a huge number of motions against presidents and ministers, designed to stop the government from enacting policy, which Rodriguez-Olivari describes as its legislators' "efforts to accentuate conflict."
        Keiko Fujimori, leader of the Popular Force party, lost the 2016 presidential election in a tight runoff, but her party held the most seats in Congress. "We are going to turn the proposals from our manifesto into laws," she said, vowing to rule from Congress and setting up a fraught relationship with the president.
        The power struggle was particularly contentious in the education arena, with legislators repeatedly putting forward motions to remove education ministers from their post and to slow reforms that would affect private universities.
        On November 9, Congress voted to impeach Vizcarra following allegations of corruption related to construction projects approved when he was the governor of the Moquegua region in southern Peru from 2011 to 2014. Vizcarra has denied the allegations, but accepted the impeachment decision.
        "History and the Peruvian people will judge," he said in a speech following the impeachment vote.
        As dictated by the constitution, Vizcarra was replaced by then-head of Congress Manuel Merino, who lasted just five days in the post before resigning under pressure from mass protests in which two people were killed and dozens more injured.
        Sagasti, a 76-year-old legislator representing the Purple Party (Partido Morado), was then appointed by Congress to replace Merino, becoming Peru's fourth president in less than five years. He takes power a time when the public has shown its willingness to take to the streets to express its disillusionment with the political class.
        Sagasti represents the Purple Party (Partido Morado).

        Why Peruvians protested

        Protesters took to the streets to get Merino to leave his post, but the marches soon took on a wider significance.
        While Vizcarra's ouster may have been the spark for the protests, Rodriguez-Olivari doesn't think people took to the streets purely to support him. "I think people realized that what was happening was an attack on democracy," she said, as Merino's move from head of congress to president would have removed the checks and balances between the two branches of government.
        Dozens wounded in Peru as protesters and police clash amid political crisis