Updated Nov 15, 2020 - World

Peru's interim president resigns after deadly clashes between police and protesters

A demonstrator, supporter of Peruvian ousted President Martin Vizcarra, holds a Peruvian flag during a protest against the government of interim president Manuel Merino in Lima on November 14
A supporter of ousted President Martín Vizcarra holds a Peruvian flag as police deploy tear gas during a protest against the government of interim President Manuel Merino in Lima, Peru, on Saturday. Photo: Ernesto Benavides/AFP via Getty Images

Peru's interim President Manuel Merino announced his resignation on Sunday after holding the title for six days, following weekend clashes between police and demonstrators that left at least two people dead.

Why it matters: Peru, which had one of Latin America's strongest economies before the coronavirus pandemic, is expected to face its worst economic downturn in over a century amid the political crisis — which is the worst in two decades, per the Wall Street Journal.

What he's saying: Merino told viewers in a televised address that he had "acted within the law" by being sworn into office on Tuesday, AP reports.

  • “I present my irrevocable resignation,” Merino said, per the Wall Street Journal. “It is time for peace and unity.”

Catch up quick: Lawmakers voted to impeach and remove President Martín Vizcarra from office following corruption allegations and criticism of his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Human rights groups report that the whereabouts of 41 people who participated in the demonstrations are unknown, and at least 112 people were injured.
  • Peru's acting head of Congress, Luis Valdez, called for Merino to resign over the unrest, Bloomberg notes.

What to watch: It is not yet clear who will take over Peru's presidency, although some politicians and protesters have called for one of the 19 lawmakers that voted against ousting Vizcarra to take over the role, the WSJ reports.

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