Peru’s Congress fails to agree on early elections

Peru's Congress fails to agree on early elections

Peru’s Congress rejected a proposal to bring forward elections to December 2023 despite nearly two months of protests that have left dozens dead following the ouster of former president Pedro Castillo.

Lawmakers will continue to debate a different proposal to hold early elections, but the Peruvian Congress is deeply fragmented and reaching an agreement is complicated. The first proposal, coming from the right-wing Fuerza Popular party, was rejected by 68 lawmakers, and voted in favour by 54.

“I regret that Congress has not reached the necessary consensus to bring forward elections,” president Dina Boluarte said on Twitter. “We will immediately present a bill so that Peruvians can democratically elect their authorities in 2023.”

Jorge Montoya, a congressman and spokesman for the far-right Renovación Popular party, said during Wednesday’s debate that early elections were unconstitutional and that members of Congress should be allowed to finish their term.

Now Castillo’s party, Peru Libre, will try to win votes for its proposal, which includes a non-binding referendum for a new constitution and new members of Congress.

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