The deterioration of politics in Peru, fuel for the crisis that is bleeding the country

The deterioration of politics in Peru, fuel for the crisis that is bleeding the country

Peru is trapped in a marked deterioration of its political class, unable to provide answers and connect with a fractured country that has seen 48 people die in street clashes since December 7, different experts agreed.

Although the rejected proposal to advance the general elections to this year still has a chance with the reconsideration that will be presented in Congress on Monday, some political scientists are skeptical that progress will be achieved.

“This is a toxic Congress: it is rejected by 88% of the population, according to surveys; it is branded by (the civil association) Proética as the most corrupt institution, it is the most discredited Legislature in the region in the Latinobarómetro,” he reminded AFP Alonso Cárdenas, from the London School of Economics.

“Congress, like almost the entire political class in Peru, lives with its back to the country, it doesn’t understand it,” added Roger Santa Cruz, from the Antonio Ruiz de Montoya Jesuit University in Lima.

In the early hours of Saturday, after more than seven hours of debate with reproaches, Parliament rejected the proposal of Hernando Guerra García, of the Fuerza Popular party (FP), so that the elections would no longer take place in April 2024, as expected, but in October of this year, so that President Dina Boluarte and the parliamentarians leave next December.

The proposal by Guerra García, who his adversaries say was following orders from the FP leader, Keiko Fujimori, was at the same time a response to Boluarte, who urged on Friday to anticipate the elections to get out of the “quagmire.”



President Dina Boluarte called to advance the elections in Peru. Photo: EFE

The role of Keiko Fujimori

According to Santa Cruz, the doubts of Fujimori’s rivals are reasonable: “Popular Force has bases throughout the country. It has more capacity for a short campaign. Its thing is political calculation,” he said.

The Renovación Popular and Avanza País parties, which share the space furthest to the right with Fujimorismo in the ideological spectrum of Congress, separated from their ally and swept away Guerra García’s project.

“The alliance that supports Boluarte is cracking,” Cárdenas warned.

The current president was vice president for Pedro Castillo’s leftist Peru Libre party, but since the removal of the former president, who on December 7 tried to close Parliament and govern by decree, his support is based on the conservative caucuses.

The left also has its share of responsibility in this lack of political agreement to get out of the crisis, because it conditions its vote to the advancement of elections to a referendum for a Constituent Assembly, possibility rejected by broad sectors of power.

“The left knows that its proposal will never have support from the right,” said Cárdenas, for whom the issue is used as a pretext to negotiate minor benefits.

“These are quite mediocre reasons (on both sides). Not ideological, nor of the country’s model. They are issues like holding on to the charges for a few more months,” he added.

Protests and violence do not stop in Peru after almost two months.  Photo: AP


Protests and violence do not stop in Peru after almost two months. Photo: AP

split congress

The experts also highlighted among the congressional weaknesses current, the fact that it is divided into more than ten political forces, in addition to independent congressmen, without strong leadership or personalities that generate consensus.

Therefore, according to Cárdenas and Santa Cruz, Boluarte’s eventual resignation would not necessarily ease tensions because figures of “democratic personalities, linked to human rights, arrangers, with experience” have not emerged as it was after the departure of Alberto Fujimori (1990-2000), Valentín Paniagua or Francisco Sagasti in 2020 after the fall of the government of Martín Vizcarra (2018-2020).

Peru has had six presidents since 2018, from the right, from the center, from the left. A fire to which the political class contributes more fire than water and in which Congress seems to limit its function to fighting with the Executive.

Violence does not stop in the streets of Lima and especially in southern Peru.  Photo: AFP


Violence does not stop in the streets of Lima and especially in southern Peru. Photo: AFP

It all started in 2016 with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, who despite being right-wing, was targeted by the Fujimori bench until 2018, when he managed to remove him for having defeated their leader, Keiko Fujimori.

His replacement, Martín Vizcarra, met the same fate, and his congressionally imposed successor, Manuel Merino, was forced to leave in 2020 after a violent five-day riot in the streets of Lima.

The story continued with Castillo, who waged war against Congress which ended with his dismissal, also produced after he tried to close the Legislative. That’s where the story of Boluarte began.

In the midst of the current convulsion, harder in the relegated southern Andean, there is no guarantee that better authorities will emerge from the elections in 2023 or 2024, both political scientists concluded.

“The political solution is in a political reform, but these politicians have to do that reform,” Cárdenas ironized.

Fuente: AFP

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