Peru prosecutors file graft complaint against president

Peru's attorney general's office on Monday presented a so-called constitutional complaint against President Dina Boluarte in an alleged corruption case involving her use of luxury watches, a national scandal that could lead to removal proceedings, Reuters reports.

The formal accusation comes as the leader's popularity has sunk to a new low, according to polls.

The complaint accuses Boluarte of receiving a bribe. If Congress moves forward on it, the accusation could lead to Boluarte's ouster.

Peru's increasingly rocky politics has claimed several of Boluarte's predecessors in recent years, with lawmakers often playing the leading role in launching removal proceedings against the Andean nation's presidents.

Later on Monday, Prime Minister Gustavo Adrianzen derided the complaint as "improper, unconstitutional and illegal" persecution in comments made on local broadcaster Canal N.

Adrianzen added that the president will not be distracted by "political noise."

Boluarte, a former vice president, has already faced questioning and police raids over her use of several Rolex watches and other jewelry that seem at odds with her modest public salary.

She has denied wrongdoing in the case, arguing that the luxury goods were loaned to her by a local governor.

The graft complaint marks the second constitutional complaint facing Boluarte during her less than two-year-old administration.

Last November, the attorney general filed a complaint against the president over her handling of deadly social unrest after the ouster of her predecessor.

In late 2022, then-President Pedro Castillo tried to illegally dissolve Congress before a vote to remove him from office. His ouster and subsequent arrest plunged the country into weeks of angry and sometimes violent protests that claimed at least 40 lives.