Peru’s interim president, Manuel Merino, has resigned following a night of violent protests calling for his removal.
Merino has held the position for just five days before his resignation.
The majority of Merino’s cabinet had already resigned ahead of his televised address to the country.
“I want to make it known to the whole country that I irrevocably present my resignation for the office of the presidency and I call for peace and unity for all Peruvians. My commitment is with Peru and I will do everything in my power to guarantee a constitutional succession and for Congress to determine in order for Peru to move forward,” Merino told the nation.
Merino, who previously served as head of Congress, stepped in as interim president, faced immediate backlash from critics who accuse him and other members of Congress of corruption. At least half of those in Congress are currently under investigation for alleged crimes, including money laundering and homicide.
Merino’s predecessor President Martín Vizcarra was ousted by Congress last week in an impeachment vote over corruption allegations. Vizcarra said he would not challenge the vote.
“Today I am leaving the presidential palace. Today I am going home,” Vizcarra said during a speech on Monday.
On Saturday night, Peru’s Ombudsman issued a warning on Twitter advising that security forces had begun “misusing force and throwing tear gas without justification” against young demonstrators who had assembled in the capital city of Lima.
An umbrella group for human rights organizations in Peru said Saturday morning that 41 people had gone missing during the protests and that 112 had been wounded, per The New York Times.