September 30, 2019 / 6:59 PM / 13 days ago

Peru's Congress defies Vizcarra's threat to dismiss lawmakers in key vote

LIMA (Reuters) - Peru’s opposition-run Congress voted to elect the first of up to six new justices to the country’s top court in a plenary session on Monday, in defiance of President Martin Vizcarra’s threat to close parliament if it did so.

Vizcarra said on the eve of the vote that he would invoke a constitutional article to close Congress to defend the country from what he described as a corrupt mafia that had captured Congress and had set their sights on the Constitutional Tribunal, a likely referee in any legal dispute between lawmakers and the government.

Opposition lawmakers have vowed to resist any attempt to send them home and have accused Vizcarra of trying to orchestrate a power grab.

Reporting By Mitra Taj; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama

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