The Peruvian president wanted to leave the political party that brought him to this post
After winning the presidential run-off against conservative candidate Keiko Fujimori, President Pedro Castillo Terrones was accused by his political force Peru Libre of breaking party unity and implementing neoliberal policies that contradicted the left position of the group.
Therefore, Castillo should resign as a member of the party, they insisted to the Marxist-Leninist Perú Libre. “The National Executive Council, the Perú Libre Bench and the Political Committee of the Perú Libre Party (…) launch the invitation for his irrevocable resignation, given his current inauguration as Constitutional President of the Republic,” said the political movement through a statement issued by party founder Vladimir Cerrón.
Cerrón was unable to run for president due to the criminal charges against him. Yet as general secretary of the political association, he accused Castillo of fomenting division within the organization. “Our party will continue to fight for the conquest of its legitimate aspirations, which are undoubtedly non-negotiable and unshakable to achieve a democratic, decentralized, inclusive, internationalist, humanist and fully sovereign country.”
Castillo refrained from commenting on the request, which could further weaken his position in a context where opposition forces are constantly working with the explicit aim of impeaching him or forcing him to resign.
If the 16 lawmakers who still respond to the PL out of the original 37 join any future vacancy motion, Castillo will lose the congressional support he has had so far and thanks to which he has already survived 2 attempts to dismissal in less than a year in power. .
Founded in 2008 by Cerrón in the Andean department of Junín, Perú Libre was born as a force of regional scope only. Thus, his rise to power came as a surprise after an onslaught by Castillo in the first round, which made him the alternative against the resisted right Fujimori.
However, tensions soon erupted between those who remained loyal to Cerron and a president who sought to handle things his way.
Cerrón, a 51-year-old doctor trained professionally and ideologically in Cuba, was convicted of acts of corruption while he was governor of Junín (2011-2014), which barred him from running for office, it is why he chose Castillo, a rural teacher who, four years earlier, had hit the headlines as the leader of a teachers’ strike that was notable for its harshness and duration (four months).
In January 2022, the Party expelled the country’s Vice President, Dina Boluarte, from its ranks for indiscipline following statements in which she dissociated herself from the party’s ideology.
Three months later, Cerrón – one of the most critical voices against Castillo – presented a constitutional reform to bring forward presidential and legislative elections to the end of March 2023, a move that caused differences among its various members.