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OAS says only Peru's top court can rule on legality of political dispute

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LIMA (Reuters) – A regional body for countries in the Americas said that only Peru’s top court can determine the legality of a decision by the country’s president to dissolve Congress this week, but called it a “constructive step” that he had scheduled new elections within constitutional timeframes.

Dozens of former lawmakers in the country’s Congress called President Martin Vizcarra’s move to dissolve the body on Monday a “coup,” pledging their allegiance to Vice President Mercedes Araoz and vowing to challenge it domestically and abroad.

The Organization of American States added in a statement that both parties in the dispute should call for calm after the political turmoil sparked protests to pressure rebel lawmakers to leave.

(Reporting by Maria Cervantes; Writing by Mitra Taj; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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