Peru’s parliament failed to approve a bill to postpone elections to December 2023 amid widespread protests.
The Peruvian parliament has rejected a proposal to move elections to December 2023, despite nearly two months of protests that have killed dozens following the sacking of former president Pedro Castillo.
Legislators will continue to debate another proposal to hold early elections, a key demand of the protesters. His first proposal, one of several motions, was rejected by 68 MPs, voted on by 54, and had two abstentions.
In a deeply divided parliament, some politicians want to finish their initial term, while others want to go further and hold a referendum on a new constitution.
Congress had previously backed a proposal to postpone the scheduled 2026 elections to April 2024, but the move failed to calm the unrest that gripped the country.
Over the past few weeks, protesters have blocked roads, occupied airports and set fire to several buildings, calling for early elections, the closure of Congress, the resignation of President Dina Boluarte and the release of Castillo from prison. requested.
Castillo came to power in 2021 thanks to support from southern Peru and the impoverished rural Andean regions where some of the most violent protests have occurred.
Government security forces have killed dozens of protesters, with much of the violence occurring in rural areas.
Castillo, a left-wing former teacher embroiled in multiple corruption investigations, served in five cabinets and over 80 ministers during his 17-month tenure.
He was impeached and arrested on December 7 and is in pretrial detention after trying to illegally dissolve parliament. His vice president, Mr. Boruarte, took the oath of office hours after his dismissal, becoming his sixth president of Peru in five years.
A poll by local pollster IEP in January showed just 7% support for what critics see as corruption and selfishness. Boluarte’s approval rating was slightly higher at 17%, with 73% supporting the new elections this year.