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Peruvian lawmakers approved the initiation of impeachment proceedings against leftist President Pedro Castillo this week, the second attempt to oust him since he was elected in July, Bloomberg reported.
The vote came amid an investigation against a businesswoman, Karelim Lopez, over alleged money laundering. Lopez expressed a willingness to work with prosecutors and said that she had damaging information on individuals close to Castillo: She said they are involved in irregularities in the bidding process for a bridge construction contract.
Castillo has denied the allegations and said the accusations are politically motivated. He is expected to defend himself before congress later this month.
More than 87 out of 130 lawmakers will have to vote to impeach the president for Castillo to be ousted. Meanwhile, analysts noted that three leftist parties could potentially block the impeachment.
The vote marks the second effort by lawmakers to remove Castillo: In December, he survived a first attempt to impeach him.
Even so, congress has also initiated a process of “constitutional accusation” against the former educator, which could suspend his presidential functions if successful.
Laws in Peru make it easy to remove the head of state: Nearly every president in recent history has been impeached, imprisoned or the subject of criminal investigations.