There were 54 votes in favor, 68 against, and two abstentions. Violent protests continue in Lima.
In the midst of the wave of protests against the president In Boluartethe Congress of Peru rejected again this Wednesday the bill that seeks to advance the general elections to December of this year, including presidential and legislative elections.
Specifically, legislators strongly rejected 54 votes in favour, 68 against and two abstentions the second proposal in a week – and the third since December – to anticipate the elections in 2023. For it to be approved, it needed the support of 87 of the 130 congressmen.
Following this determination, the Peruvian president released a statement on the social networks of the Presidency, where she regretted “that Congress has not reached the necessary consensus to advance the elections” and reiterated that she will present “immediately” a bill to insist on its plan to hold a general election this year.
For their part, the left-wing congressmen applauded this Wednesday the rejection of the bill presented by the right-wing Fujimori party Fuerza Popular.
After taking over as interim president on December 7, after the dismissal of Pedro Castillo, Boluarte announced that she would end her official mandate in 2026. However, the outbreak of protests demanding her resignation led her to cut the term to April 2024 and later to propose elections this same year.
Wave of protests in Peru
This Wednesday, new marches and protests took place in the center of Lima, near the Congress, with hundreds of protesters who expressed their rejection of the Government.
“Congress has refused to advance the elections and we do not agree. We ask for it by April (2023). I call on all congressmen, why are you doing this to us, why are they betraying us,” questioned one of the protesters in dialogue with the news agency AFP.
Another complained in the middle of the march, where Peruvian flags and wiphalas (the seven-color flag of the Andean peoples) abounded: “Shut down Congress, we don’t want those congressmen who have personal interests.”
After the rejection of the early elections, Congress began to debate a new proposal from the leftist caucuses, which includes a consultation to hold a Constituent Assembly, but a few minutes later it was suspended until Thursday due to a heated discussion among congressmen.
Boluarte and Fuerza Popular defend the advancement of elections to appease the protests that have left at least 48 dead directly linked to them since Castillo’s dismissal and arrest, after he tried to dissolve Congress and govern by decree.
Parallel to the political crisis, protests persist with roadblocks that have caused fuel shortages in various regions, including Tacna, on the southern border with Chile.
The cuts have also generated problems among serious patients who need transfers, oncological treatments, and have complicated the distribution of medical services in various areas of the country.
The Peruvian Las Bambas copper mine, operated by China’s MMG and which supplies around 2% of the world’s volume of metal, announced that it will suspend operations from Wednesday if the cuts continue.
With information from AFP.