Less than one week after assuming the office of the presidency, Manuel Merino has stepped down as interim president of Peru.
The move caps a week of political turmoil that has embroiled the country since former President Martín Vizcarra was removed by legislators Monday night. Merino, who was head of Congress, took his place on Tuesday — and faced immediate opposition from Peruvians who refused to recognize his authority.
Merino promised that voters could make their voices heard during April’s presidential election. But the unrest continued, coming to a head on Saturday when two protesters were killed by police. By Sunday, most of Merino’s Cabinet had resigned, and Congress asked him to relinquish the role.
“Nothing justifies that a legitimate protest should trigger the death of Peruvians,” Merino said in a video address resigning the presidency. He called for the “peace and unity of all Peruvians.”