On Monday, Peruvian president Martin Vizcarra announced during a TV interview the dissolution of the country’s congress after a squabble about the new appointees of Peru’s highest court, the constitutional tribunal. In turn, the congress responded by declaring Vizcarra temporarily relieved from office and swearing in Vice-President Mercedes Araoz as the new President of Peru Monday night, sharpening the conflict in between the executive and the legislative and creating a situation not unlike in Venzuela.
This sharpening of the political crisis in Peru comes, as pointed out by Peruvian comrades, amidst the ongoing struggle of the government of Vizcarra to further concentrate power, particularly in the post of presidency. The congress, dominated by factions and groups representing interests of the big bourgeoisie colliding with those of the factions aligned with Vizcarra, has had – at least until now – the power in its hands to select and nominate the members of Peru’s top court, known as the constitutional tribunal. It is then the task of the constitution tribunal to see that the laws and acts of the administration, etc. are obeyed in accordance of the constitution established by Fujimori in 1993.
Already, this constitution includes vast powers for the president and the post of presidency in Peruvian history always served as a focal point for the centralization of power. Well known and very revealing, and often denounced by the Communist Party of Peru, is the question of the presidential power to issue decrees as quasi-laws without having to have them approved by congress or even debated there. Recently, under the guise of claiming that “[m]embers of the constitutional tribunal are elected in a very hurried and non-transparent manner” Vizcarra put forward his plans to call for a vote of confidence, so to be able to change the process of appointment, aiming towards also seizing absolute control over this part of the administration of the old reactionary state and taking it away from hands of the legislature.
The current political crisis in Peru, that has yet again reached a high point, is the expression of the collusion and struggle between the various factions and groups of the big bourgeoisie within the bureaucratic landowner state that serves imperialism, principally Yankee imperialism. It is the struggle about who can exert how much control on what state organ, and its general direction is towards the absolute centralization of power. To bolster Vizcarra and prevent much support for the newly appointed temporary president Araoz, the army and police have already taken stance on the matter. In a joint statement, issued in the last days, Vizcarra is emphasized to be the "Supreme chief of the Armed Forces and the National Police of Peru".