Decision. With 61 votes in favor, 47 against and 5 abstentions, the position was declared vacant. The legislator lasted less than a month and a half in office, Parliament must elect her replacement.
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For the same case for which she was censored, Camones will have to answer before the Special Electoral Jury of Central Lima, which evaluates whether she violated the principle of electoral neutrality. (Photo: Congress)
The Congress of the Republic censured last Monday its president, Lady Camones, after the broadcast of an audio in which the leader of the Alliance for Progress, César Acuña, is heard asking him to expedite the approval of a bill that it would favor electorally.
The decision was taken with 61 votes in favor, 47 against and 5 abstentions. Immediately, the first vice-president of the Parliament, Martha Moyano, declared the vacancy of Camones and announced that it will proceed in accordance with article 12 of the Regulations of the Congress.
The cited article states that Parliament must hold elections within five days after the vacancy is made official.
Camones – who a day earlier asked for a license from his Alliance for Progress militancy – did not even obtain the support of the other members of the Board of Directors: only Moyano voted against censorship, while the second vice president, Digna Calle, did not. voted, and the third vice president, Alejandro Muñante, abstained.
Camones, who had been in office for less than a month and a half, became in the second president of the Congress in being censured. The first was Martha Hildebrandt in 2000.
The legislator made two political gestures to stay in office: she asked her party for a license and requested that the Ethics Commission investigate her, but she did not get support.
Until the plenary session of Congress elects a new president, the position will be in the hands of Martha Moyano, although in the opinion of expert on parliamentary issues Alejandro Rospigliosi, the entire Board of Directors should evaluate the resignation.
Rospigliosi also recalled that “the presidencies of the Alliance for Progress in Congress have been the shortest in history,” referring to those of Camones and Luis Valdez. The latter was head of the interim Parliament after the assumption of Manuel Merino in November 2020.
The motion of censure against Camones was promoted by Congressman Guillermo Bermejo, from Democratic Peru.
During the debate on this proposal, legislator Kelly Portalatino, from Peru Libre, accused Camones and Acuña of violating the independence of Parliament. In addition, she urged the prosecution to investigate whether they committed alleged crimes such as illegal sponsorship, improper use of office, influence peddling and criminal organization.
Meanwhile, congresswoman Flor Pablo, from the Integrity and Development bench, asked that Parliament act with the same firmness with which it questions the Executive, “because if not, we return to the times of otorongo does not eat otorongo.”
Rosangella Barbarán, of Fuerza Popular, opposed the censorship, arguing that the opposition to the Pedro Castillo government should remain united. “It's the only way to stand up to this government that is trying to stick it out the window,” she said.
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After the decision against Camones, legislator Alejandro Soto, from the Alliance for Progress, addressed a letter to the senior official of Congress, José Cevasco, requesting reconsideration of the vote.
Soto is one of the protagonists of the leaked audio. In it, he is heard referring to the option of vacating President Pedro Castillo.
Crisis in PPP deepens
Hours before Camones' censorship, legislator Roberto Chiabra resigned from the Alliance for Progress caucus “for reasons of conscience.”
With the departure of Chiabra and the expulsion of Heidy Juárez, the group went from having 11 congressmen to only nine members.
Juarez said he learned of his expulsion from the party via Twitter on Sunday, and that he will take legal action to clean up his image.
“The same day that Epicentro TV released the audios, two hours later they were accusing me of being responsible [for leaking them] without having an expertise involved. Under what parameters or techniques have these evaluations been carried out?”, said the parliamentarian.
Juárez also lamented that she was described as a “topo of the Government”.
Eduardo Salhuana, alternate spokesperson for the Alliance for Progress, told El Comercio: “If a sector of the citizenry believes that we have acted incorrectly, we apologize for the case. It is an ethical, social reproach, but it is not of a criminal or electoral nature, as the Executive has implied,” he said, referring to the press conference given by Prime Minister Aníbal Torres and the other members of the Cabinet to request the resignation of the Board of Directors of Congress.
At the event, Justice Minister Félix Chero stated that Acuña, Camones and others involved should be investigated for alleged usurpation of functions, illegal sponsorship, influence peddling and even criminal organization.
Censored Lady Camones