For many months Peru’s presidency and congress have fought a protracted fencing bout, parry after riposte, before President Martín Vizcarra finally exploited an opening and lunged. The referee tasked with deciding whether he broke the rules in registering his ‘hit’, and disbanding congress, will be the constitutional tribunal (TC), the attempted replacement of which spurred Vizcarra to strike in the first place. But it is difficult to see the TC taking the side of congress. Vizcarra is in a strong position. The right-wing Fuerza Popular (FP, Fujimoristas), the dominant party in congress, which has persistently thwarted his efforts to advance an anti-corruption agenda, led claims of a coup, but governors, mayors, and the armed forces came out in support of Vizcarra, and a resounding majority of the public back his decision to convene fresh congressional elections for 26 January 2020.

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