Peru interim president Manuel Merino resigns after deadly protest

Peru interim president Manuel Merino resigns after deadly protest

Peru’s interim president, Manuel Merino, has resigned less than a week into his new administration, after a night of protests calling for his removal and a subsequent police crackdown left at least two dead and dozens wounded.

“I want to let the whole country know that I’m resigning,” Merino said in a televised address on Sunday.

Merino assumed the presidency on Tuesday after the opposition-dominated Congress voted to remove his predecessor Martin Vizcarra over bribery allegations. Vizcarra has denied any wrongdoing.

Protesters have since decried Merino’s rise to power, accusing the legislature of staging a parliamentary coup. Merino, in his address on Sunday, has maintained he acted within the law when he was sworn in.

The resignation came after a groundswell of politicians called on Merino to step down, citing the violence against the country’s citizens.

The current head of Congress, Luis Valdez said earlier on that Sunday that all of the legislature’s political parties had agreed to ask for the “immediate” resignation.

“We should put above all else the lives of the Peruvian people,” said Valdez, who himself plans to resign.

Valdez had said the legislature would begin an impeachment process if Merino did not willingly leave office.