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Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January, 2005, 00:20 GMT
Peru president angry at critics
President Alejandro Toledo
President Toledo's approval ratings have slumped since his election
Peru's President Alejandro Toledo has called for critics to back off after his vice-president suffered a heart attack following heated TV interviews.

David Waisman fainted after defending himself from claims he is not capable of running Peru if Mr Toledo resigns.

Mr Toledo faces a number of political crises and has become unpopular with voters, said Peruvians must "stop killing each other".

His party faces accusations of forging signatures before the election in 2000.

Mr Waisman, who has a history of heart problems, collapsed after defending himself from stern questioning in two television interviews.

Mr Toledo cancelled a cabinet meeting to visit Mr Waisman in hospital.

"Enough of this killing of Peruvians," Mr Toledo said as he left the hospital.

"Do you want to bring our democracy down, whatever it takes?"

'Mediocre'

Mr Waisman had faced strong criticism on Wednesday from opposition politicians, who regularly launch stinging attacks on Mr Toledo's unpopular administration.

A former Interior Minister, Fernando Rospigliosi, said Mr Waisman reflected the "mediocrity" of Mr Toledo's government.

In a series of interviews Mr Waisman said he was "neither corrupt not incompetent".

President Toledo won a landslide election victory in 2001 after campaigning on an anti-corruption ticket.

But his administration has become bogged down by claims that his Peru Posible party organised the systematic forging of voter signatures during registration for a previous election in 2000, which Mr Toledo lost.

The president's sister has been placed under house arrest in connection with the allegations.

And earlier this month six people died as Peru's security forces tried to crush an uprising by former soldiers in a remote town.

Mr Toledo's prime minister and defence minister narrowly survived censure in parliament on Tuesday.


SEE ALSO:
Peruvian PM survives censure vote
19 Jan 05 |  Americas
Peru minister quits after siege
10 Jan 05 |  Americas
Emergency declared in Peru town
02 Jan 05 |  Americas
Peru soldiers take police hostage
01 Jan 05 |  Americas
Peruvian leader's sister charged
24 Dec 04 |  Americas
Country profile: Peru
29 Oct 04 |  Country profiles


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