Peru picks third president in a week of political upheaval

Peru picks third president in a week of political upheaval

Peru’s Congress has chosen a 76-year-old former World Bank official as the South American country’s new president, the third in a rollercoaster week of political upheaval.

Francisco Sagasti was elected as lawmakers met to try to move on from a crippling political crisis,

sparked by the impeachment of a popular president and the resignation

of his controversial successor amid protests that killed two people.

To serve as interim leader

Sagasti, from the centrist Morado party, will serve as interim president until the end of July 2021,

completing the mandate of Martin Vizcarra, whose impeachment by Congress last Monday set off a snowballing crisis.

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“What our country lacks at the moment is confidence.

Trust us, we will act as we say,” Sagasti said before Congress.

“When a Peruvian dies, and even more so if he is young, it is all of Peru that mourns.

And if he dies defending democracy, the mourning is aggravated by indignation,”

he added, referring to the two protesters who died.

The gray-bearded former engineer is no political veteran, however, having been elected to Congress only in March this year.

He will be sworn in at a special congressional session on Tuesday.

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