Peru’s legislature rejects proposal for early elections | News about the protests

Peru’s Congress has failed to approve a measure to move elections to December 2023 amid widespread protests.

Peru’s congress has rejected a proposal to move elections to December 2023, despite nearly two months of protests that left dozens dead after the ouster of former president Pedro Castillo.

Lawmakers will continue debating a different proposal to hold early elections, which is a key demand of the protesters. The first proposal – one of several proposals – was rejected by 68 representatives, and 54 voted for it, with two abstentions.

Within a deeply fragmented Congress, some politicians want to finish their original terms, while others want to go further and hold a referendum on a new constitution, another demand of the protesters.

Congress previously supported a proposal to move the scheduled 2026 elections to April 2024, but the move failed to quell the unrest that has gripped the country.

Over the past few weeks, protesters have blocked roads, occupied airports and set fire to some buildings, with demands that include early elections, the shutdown of Congress, the resignation of President Dina Boluarte and Castillo’s release from prison.

Castillo came to power in 2021 thanks to support from southern Peru and poorer rural Andean regions where some of the most intense protests have taken place.

Dozens have been killed in a crackdown on protesters by government security forces, with most of the violence in rural areas.

A former left-wing teacher, Castillo was embroiled in numerous corruption investigations and went through five cabinets and more than 80 ministers during his 17 months in power.

He was impeached and arrested on December 7 and is in pretrial detention after attempting to illegally dissolve Congress. His vice president, Boluarte, who was sworn in hours after being removed from office, is Peru’s sixth president in five years.

A local IEP survey in January found that Congress, which critics see as corrupt and self-serving, has an approval rating of just 7 percent. Boluarte fared slightly better with 17 percent, while 73 percent supported new elections this year.

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