Peru’s President, Manuel Merino, resigned on Sunday after being in office for only five days. He was president of Peru between 10 and 15 November 2020.
His decision to resign was as a result of demonstrations against his government which had resulted in the death of two protesters and dozens injured.
Following a line of succession established in Peru’s constitution, Manuel Merino replaced President Martín Vizcarra, who last Monday was removed in an impeachment procedure over bribery allegations, which he denied.
The removal of Martin Vizcarra was questioned across the country and seen as a coup by many Peruvians, political analysts and media outlets in the country.
This had led to protests which were largely peaceful but clashes broke out towards the Saturday evening between police and protesters.
It was reported that Police fired tear gas and shotgun pellets to repel demonstrators, some of whom had thrown fireworks and stones.
This clash led to the death of two students Jack Pintado, 22, and Inti Sotelo, 24.
In a short televised address, Manuel Merino said Congress acted within the law when he was sworn into office as chief of state Tuesday, despite protesters’ allegations that legislators had staged a parliamentary coup.
“I, like everyone, want what’s best for our country,” he said.
“I want to make it known to the whole country that I irrevocably present my resignation for the office of the presidency and I call for peace and unity for all Peruvians. My commitment is with Peru and I will do everything in my power to guarantee a constitutional succession and for Congress to determine in order for Peru to move forward,” Merino told the nation.
Merino 59, who became Peru’s third president in less than five years also announced the resignation of 12 of his cabinet members.
Congress had on Sunday evening called for an emergency session to select a new president, but ex-President Martín Vizcarra whose ouster sparked the protest has called on the country’s highest court to step in.
Meanwhile, reactions to Peru’s president resignation have begun to spark debate among Nigerians who have related it to the #ENDSARS protests against police brutality which swept across the country for weeks before it was hijacked.
According to former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri on his twitter handle wrote “Peru’s President has resigned over the death of two protesters. Meanwhile, General @MBuhari has not even acknowledged the killing of multiple peaceful, unarmed #EndSARS protesters by troops of the @HQNigerianArmy during #LekkiMassacre. Nigerians are just too docile. Too docile!”
Also reacting is the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu who took a swipe at the Nigerian government over its treatment of protesters and response to End SARS protests.
Kanu on his Twitter page wrote: “Peru President Merino resigns following street protests but in Nigeria, following #EndSARS protests, Nigeria president is either persecuting and freezing bank accounts of Nigerian youths or slaughtering them at #Obigbo and Nigerians are seemingly tolerating it.”