By Handan Kazanci and Sinan Dogan
ISTANBUL/BOGOTA, Colombia (AA) – The Organization of American States (OAS) welcomed the swearing-in Wednesday of Peru’s Vice President Dina Boluarte as the country’s new leader, replacing Pedro Castillo.
“We welcome President of Peru @DinaErcilia and her call for national unity,” the regional body said on Twitter.
“We reaffirm @OAS_official support for democracy, peace, institutionality and the urgent need to rebuild the democratic path; with an inclusive, open, frank and respectful dialogue,” it added.
Meanwhile, a group protesting Castillo’s arrest clashed with police and another group celebrating his dismissal in the capital Lima, with security forces arresting some of the demonstrators.
Boluarte became the first female president of the politically volatile nation following Castillo's arrest for the alleged crime of rebellion and his ouster by Peruvian lawmakers.
Castillo said earlier in a televised speech that he would demand congressional elections to approve a new Constitution, an announcement he made just hours before lawmakers voted to remove him.
"Elections will be called for a new Congress with constituent powers to prepare a new Constitution within a period of no more than nine months," he said.
The move was immediately condemned by political forces, including the party that brought him to power, Peru Libre (Free Peru), and a series of Cabinet resignations followed.
Vice President Boluarte “rejected” Castillo's decision to “perpetrate the breakdown of the constitutional order by closing the Congress," while the nation’s ombudsman called Castillo's attempt to dissolve Congress a "coup."
Following the chaos generated by Castillo’s statement, local media reported that the president had gone to the Mexican embassy in the capital Lima to request asylum.
A video circulating on social media showed how the police intercepted the car in which Castillo was being transported and took him to the police station.
Meanwhile, Castillo’s opponents in Congress moved toward a third attempt to remove him from office. Lawmakers voted 101-6 with 10 abstentions to remove the president, citing reasons of "permanent moral incapacity."