Peru Congress Sets Impeachment, Pension Vote for Oct. 31

Peru’s Congress has scheduled a vote Oct. 31 on whether to start impeachment proceedings against President Martin Vizcarra and on a law that would allow pension withdrawals.

The impeachment motion filed earlier this week represents the legislative chamber’ssecond attempt at removing Vizcarra in five weeks. The head of Congress, Manuel Merino, announced the date late Friday.

The motion accuses Vizcarra of receiving bribes and lying repeatedly to the country, seeking his ouster on the grounds of “permanent moral incapacity.” Prosecutors are also investigating allegations from construction executives that Vizcarra took bribes when he was regional governor. He denies any wrongdoing.

An Ipsos poll said 78% of Peruvians believe Vizcarra should remain in office and be investigated at the end of his term, El Comercio newspaperreported.

The pension law would allow asecond round of early withdrawals from private pension accounts, despite warnings from the central bank that it could push up borrowing costs and harm Peru’s economic recovery. The bill has already been passed by the economy and finance committee and will now be voted on the floor of congress.

There are two pension proposals, one with a cap on withdrawals and another without. Merino, the head of Congress,said there’s a disagreement on which of the two should be voted on, adding that the heads of the economy and consumer protection committees need to reach a deal on this before the Oct. 31 vote.

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