World News

Peru Congress votes for centrist lawmaker to take interim presidency

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru’s Congress on Monday elected legislator and engineer Francisco Sagasti as Peru’s interim president in an attempt to defuse a sharp political crisis in the Andean nation after the departure of two presidents in the past week.

Sagasti, from the centrist Morado Party, won enough votes to lead the board of directors of Peru’s unicameral Congress, which means he would also constitutionally assume the presidency of the country ahead of national elections in April.

Peru’s interim leader, Manuel Merino, had resigned on Sunday, after the ouster last week of his predecessor, centrist Martin Vizcarra, had sparked off protests and dragged the country into a constitutional crisis.

Reporting by Marco Aquino; Writing by Adam Jourdan