English News

Peru president urges congress to move elections forward

Peruvian President Dina Boluarte made a renewed appeal Sunday for congress to hold early elections as a way to end weeks of deadly protests, warning that otherwise she will seek constitutional reform to make a vote happen.
The South American country has been embroiled in a political crisis with near-daily street protests since December 7, when then-president Pedro Castillo was arrested after attempting to dissolve Congress and rule by decree.
In seven weeks of demonstrations, 48 people — including one police officer — have been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters, according to the Ombudsman’s Office of Peru.
The unrest is coming mainly from poor, rural Indigenous people from southern Peru who had identified Castillo — Indigenous and from that same region — as one of their own who would fight to end poverty, racism and inequality from which they suffer.


Last month lawmakers moved up elections due in 2026 to April 2024, but as protests show no sign of abating, Boluarte now wants them held this year — a call that Congress rejected on Saturday.
“Vote for Peru, for the country, by moving the elections up to 2023,” the president said in an address to the nation. “Tomorrow you have a chance to win the country’s trust.”
In seven weeks of demonstrations, 48 people — including one police officer — have been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters, according to the Ombudsman’s Office of Peru.
The unrest is coming mainly from poor, rural Indigenous people from southern Peru who had identified Castillo — Indigenous and from that same region — as one of their own who would fight to end poverty, racism and inequality from which they suffer.

Last month lawmakers moved up elections due in 2026 to April 2024, but as protests show no sign of abating, Boluarte now wants them held this year — a call that Congress rejected on Saturday.
“Vote for Peru, for the country, by moving the elections up to 2023,” the president said in an address to the nation. “Tomorrow you have a chance to win the country’s trust.”
The government said it will soon deploy police and soldiers to clear the roadblocks.
Lawmakers had agreed last month to bring forward elections from 2026 to April 2024.
But in the face of relentless protests, Boluarte on Friday urged Congress to move the vote up further.
However, at a plenary session that ended early Saturday, Congress rejected the proposal, with 45 votes in favor, 65 against and two abstentions.

Source AFP


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