Peru – Boluarte «regrets» Congress’ decision not to bring forward elections

The President of Peru, Dina Boluarte, President of Peru, Dina Boluarte – MARIANA BAZO / ZUMA PRESS / CONTACTOFOTO

The Peruvian Presidency, held by Dina Boluarte, has regretted on Saturday the decision of the Congress which on Friday rejected the early elections for October of this year in a constitutional reform initiative that was blocked by 45 votes in favor, 65 votes against and 2 abstentions.

«We regret that the Congress of the Republic has failed to reach an agreement to define the date of the general elections, in which Peruvians can freely and democratically elect the new authorities,» the Presidency said in a message posted on Twitter.

«We urge the benches to put aside their partisan and group interests and place the interests of Peru above all else. Our citizens are promptly waiting for a clear response that will allow us to find a way out of the political crisis and build social peace,» he added.

The proposal has been rejected after the Congress approved with 78 votes to submit to a vote a possible change in the date of the elections, agreed last December 20 in a preliminary vote for April 2024.

Specifically, the left-wing bench rejected the measure alleging the need for a new electoral process to include a Constituent Assembly, considering that the proposal made by the pro-Fujimori Fuerza Popular was «fraudulent».

However, although an advance in the date of the elections -as demanded by the participants in the protests shaking the country- has not been approved, next Monday, February 30, it will be subject to a new reconsideration, all this after the president of Congress, Jose Williams, has suspended the session.

Peru is in the midst of a deep political crisis following the dismissal by the Congress of former President Pedro Castillo, who announced last December 7 the dissolution of the Andean Parliament and the establishment of a government of exception.

Following the arrest of the former president, tens of thousands of people came out to protest in various parts of the country to demand the resignation of President Dina Boluarte, the dissolution of Congress and the urgent calling of presidential elections. Since then, more than 60 people have lost their lives in riots between demonstrators and security forces.

This Saturday more than 70 roads are blocked by demonstrators protesting against Boluarte, mainly in the southern and eastern departments of the country. On Friday, 83 blockades were reported.