The Peruvian Congress rejected this Tuesday, March 14, the initiative to advance the general elections to December of this year, one of the demands of the demonstrators who have been protesting for three months after the departure of Pedro Castillo from power. The impossibility, for the fifth time, of reaching an agreement on this matter demonstrates the current ungovernability of the country. President Dina Boluarte still has not been able to find a way out of the social and political crisis that is shaking the country.
With 12 votes against, nine in favor, and no abstentions, the Constitutional Commission of the Peruvian Congress rejected for the fifth time the proposal to advance the general elections to the end of the year. The current presidential term is scheduled to end in 2026 and the electoral advance is one of the central requests of the protesters.
The debate on the early elections took place on Tuesday, March 14, after Parliament ratified its decision to analyze the proposal again. It was requested that elections be called on the second Sunday of December and that the president conclude her term on April 30, 2024.
The new president was to begin his term on May 1 and end on July 28. The congressmen would also have been replaced in May 2024.
The congressmen who voted against the project indicated that the reforms that would accompany the new elections had to be discussed beforehand and that the minimum term of April 2024 for the organization of new elections be considered.
Although the debate on the advancement of these elections returned to the Constitution Commission with the support of 69 of the 130 legislators, the possibilities of reaching an agreement are far away.
Since the arrest of Pedro Castillo after trying to dissolve Congress and the arrival of Dina Boluarte to the Presidency on January 7, Peru has continued to be shaken by intense protests. The demonstrators are calling for an electoral advance, the dismissal of Congress, the resignation of Dina Boluarte and the organization of a referendum for a constituent assembly.
However, Congress has not reached an agreement to approve the proposals to advance the elections that were presented twice by the Executive and twice by Fujimori parliamentarians.
Three months without a solution to the crisis
After three months in office, President Dina Boluarte has not been able to stop the massive protests that have taken place throughout the country and that have left more than 60 dead due to the violence of the police response.
The president, together with the current prime minister Alberto Otálora and his predecessor, Pedro Angulo, as well as the defense minister, Jorge Chávez, and the former interior ministers Víctor Rojas and César Cervantes, are being investigated for possible responsibility in the deaths of protesters.
In addition, the five failed attempts to advance the elections have demonstrated the profound ungovernability of the country. The Boluarte government itself has not been able to convince congressmen to come to an agreement.
In February, the level of disapproval of Congress reached 90% -the highest since the mandate began- while rejection of the president rose to 77%, according to a survey by the Institute of Peruvian Studies (IEP).
On March 9, Peruvian Supreme Judge Juan Carlos Checkley imposed 36 months in preventive detention for former President Pedro Castillo for alleged corruption. The former president is already in prison for his attempt to dissolve Congress and is also accused of obstructing Justice by intimidating witnesses.
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