The Peruvian Congress again rejected for the second time this week the project to advance general elections for this year, as well as a referendum to convene a constituent assembly.
With 75 votes in favor and 48 against, in addition to one abstention, the majority in parliament described the proposal as “unfeasible” and “unconstitutional.”
Previously, Congresswoman Digan Calle proposed that both initiatives be voted on separately, but only received 12 votes.
On the other hand, for this Friday the Minister of Justice, José Tello Alfaro, will support what was proposed by the government of Dina Boluarte to advance the elections, before the Constitution Commission.
It should be remembered that on Wednesday it was also rejected in parliament that the elections be held in July of this year, in the midst of a strong social outbreak after the removal and arrest of former president Pedro Castillo, in November of last year.
Jaime Quito, a congressman from Peru Libre, affirmed that the corporation must give “a political response” to the social crisis: “We believe that we have to leave as soon as possible because the political context demands it.”
Dina Boluarte, as vice president, assumed command of the country on December 7 after the dismissal and arrest of leftist Pedro Castillo, who tried to dissolve Congress and rule by decree.
Boluarte’s term would end in 2026. But before the outbreak of protests to demand his resignation, he asked Congress to anticipate the elections.
The Legislature brought them forward to April 2024, but the president urges that they be carried out this year amid growing demonstrations that have already left 48 dead.
Boluarte seeks that by December -in the event of a second round- the country will have elected a president and parliamentarians.
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Fissures in the government
Boluarte was blunt this Thursday in stating that he will not resign. The national protest will not make the government “lower its head or morale,” he said.
“We are firm to defend democracy and defend the stability of the country,” Boluarte said during an event in Piura (northwest), where he suggested that “the violence and radicalism” of some demonstrations is led by former President Castillo.
“My resignation is not at stake. We are not going to give in to political blackmail,” he later assured at a press conference, where he pointed out that the advancement of elections “is on the court” of Congress.
However, the government showed fissures this Thursday when it learned of the departure of Raúl Molina, Boluarte’s chief adviser, who blamed him for a lack of “substantive political gestures” and that “clear responsibilities have not yet been attributed” for those who died in the crisis.
“Madam President, listen to our people, to the vast majority who are asking for changes,” reads Molina’s resignation letter dated February 1 and released this Thursday by the press.
Boluarte, who declined to comment on his former adviser’s statements, has already had to face the resignations of five of his ministers since he took over the reins of the country last December.
protests do not give way
In parallel, the protests continue in various areas of the country, including Lima, where in the morning dozens of residents of Puno and Cusco (southeast) mobilized at the doors of the two main private television channels in the country.
“They do not report the truth”; “Genocidal press” was read on the banners of the demonstrators, who consider that the coverage of these media favors the government.
In the southern Andes, a region historically neglected, roadblocks continued. While in Junín, the Andean center of the country, dozens of citizens block the central highway, the main route for the arrival of food in the capital.
In Cusco, the capital of the Inca empire, a jewel of tourism in Peru, there was also a strike of workers and mobilizations in the streets and the central square of the city.